Chapter 27 The Desire To See Jesus

Sir, we would see Jesus (John 12:21).

This was the inquiry of certain Greeks, and few things stirred the heart of our Lord like the coming of these men. Maybe He saw in them a token of what would be the fruit of His sufferings from among the Gentiles. Whatever their motive, and some seem to question that, though I myself do not, the inquiry seems to embody the deep, elemental cry of our humanity. We need to see Jesus—for the idols of this world speak vanity—its gold and silver do not satisfy—its sophistries and philosophies do not answer the deep cry of man’s soul. Unless men see Jesus they can never find rest and happiness. But how are we to see Him?

See Him As God

Isaiah chapter 40 tells us that a forerunner would come and prepare the way of the Lord and that his cry would be:

“Behold your God!” So the apostle John in the New Testament says—“The Word was God.” The prophets of old declared the coming Messiah to be “the Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). The New Testament apostles testified by the Spirit of God that “by Him were all things created” (Colossians 1:16)—that “without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3)—that He—the Lord Jesus Christ—was “God … manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). Unless Jesus was God He could not remove one stain of sin from our sin-soiled souls—nor could He save us—nor could His righteousness justify us—nor could He open the gates of heaven to us. But He is God—God the eternal Son. “They shall call His name Emmanuel … God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Only because He is God—“Jehovah our Righteousness”—can He save us.

See Him As Man

Pilate set Him forth before the people and cried, “Behold the man!” (John 19:5). “The Word was made flesh” (John 1:14), and Paul says that He “was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man …” (Philippians 2:7, 8). It is of the utmost importance to see Him as true Man, or else He would have no blood to atone for our sins—no righteousness with which to justify us—no kinsman feeling—no standing as Mediator between God and men. He entered into our humanity as Man that He might have a link with manhood—born of woman that He might have a link with womanhood—born a Child that He might have a link with childhood. He came with a real but a new humanity—sinless, spotless, and wholly impeccable—an ideal, perfect Man upon whom alone God could put glory declaring, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17:5).

See Him As the Lamb

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The Scripture assigns no other reason for which the eternal Son of God became incarnate than that He might lay down His life for His sheep—to give His life a ransom for us—to die in our room and stead—to shed His precious blood that we might be cleansed from all sin. This is a verse which should be engraved in letters of gold upon our hearts. His Godhead was not enough to redeem us—His incarnation was not enough—His power was not enough—His holiness was not enough. His sacrificial death alone was sufficient to atone for our sins. Anything which stops short of that effects nothing. Anything other than that simply mocks our need. Speaking by the prophet of old, Messiah says, “I restored that which I took not away.” He did no sin, thought no sin, could not sin, but God “made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

See Him As King

“Behold your King,” said Pilate (John 19:14), and he said more than he knew. Though he said it in cynical scorn of the Jews, Pilate never said a truer word. The Lord Jesus is the Father’s appointed King. He was sent to be King of Israel (Zechariah 9:9), but Israel rejected their King. In this age, when Israel is temporarily laid aside, He reigns in the hearts of all who believe, and so establishes His kingdom within. But He is to return to earth and that to be King over all the earth—to wind up all Gentile world rule—to deliver creation from bondage—to bring in His own kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy, over all the earth. Glorious will the day be when “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:14).

O teach me what it meaneth—
That cross uplifted high,
With One—the Man of sorrows—
Condemned to bleed and die!
O teach me what it cost Thee
To make a sinner whole;
And teach me, Saviour, teach me
The value of a soul.

O teach me what it meaneth—
Thy love beyond compare,
The love that reacheth deeper
Than depths of self-despair!
Yes, teach me, till there gloweth
In this cold heart of mine
Some feeble, pale reflection
Of that pure love of Thine.

O Infinite Redeemer!
I bring no other plea,
Because Thou dost invite me
I cast myself on Thee.
Because Thou dost accept me
I love and I adore;
Because Thy love constraineth,
I’ll praise Thee evermore.

—Lucy A. Bennett