Morning and Evening

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July 22

Morning

I am married unto you. — Jer 3:14

Christ Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage-union. In love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by His Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him—He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb!

Not yet, has the glorious Bridegroom presented His betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven. Not yet, has she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen. She is as yet—a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands, and united with His person!

On earth He exercises towards her—all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her needs, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His name, and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for “He hates divorce.”

Death must sever the marital tie between the most loving mortals but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In heaven they do not marry but are as the angels of God; yet there is this one marvelous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and His Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be never so pure and fervent—it is but a faint picture of the flame which burns in the heart of Jesus! Passing all human union—is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left His Father, and became one flesh with her!


Evening

Behold the man! — John 19:5

If there is one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes the joy and comfort of His people—it is where He plunged deepest into the depths of woe.

Come hither, gracious souls, and behold the Man in the garden of Gethsemane! Behold His heart so brimming with love—that He cannot hold it in; so full of sorrow—that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distills from every pore of His body, and falls upon the ground.

Behold the Man as they drive the nails into His hands and feet! Look up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your suffering Lord. Mark Him, as the ruby drops stand on the thorn-crown, and adorn the diadem of the King of Misery with priceless gems. Behold the Man when all His bones are out of joint, and He is poured out like water and brought into the dust of death! God has forsaken Him, and hell compasses Him about.

Behold and see—was there ever sorrow, like unto His sorrow? All you who pass by—draw near and look upon this spectacle of grief! Unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men and angels, an unmatched prodigy! Behold the Emperor of Woe—who had no equal or rival in His agonies! Gaze upon Him, you mourners, for if there is not consolation in a crucified Christ—there is no joy in earth or heaven. If in the ransom price of His blood, there is not hope—you harps of heaven, there is no joy in you; and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for evermore!

We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot to be less troubled with our afflictions and woes. We have but to see His sorrows and we shall be ashamed to mention our sorrows. We have but to gaze into His wounds and heal our own. If we would live aright—it must be by the contemplation of His death. If we would rise to dignity—it must be by considering His humiliation and His sorrow.


Morning and Evening - July 22

Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.