God In Grace Come Down
Leslie M. Grant
In the calm yet lowly dignity of One in control of every circumstance, the Lord Jesus is beautifully presented in the Gospel of John. The Jews plotted together with the determination to have Him killed, but His time had not then come: He would willingly die at the time appointed by His own counsel together with the Father, but not before.
On the night of His betrayal by Judas He prepared His disciples for His departure by His marvellous ministry of John 13 to 16. Judas had gone out (ch. 13:30) with the object of betraying Him. The Lord knew this, but there was no suggestion of haste in what He did, as though to get everything done before His arrest. He would take time, following the Passover feast, to introduce the wonderful new observance, the Lord's Supper, to be kept by His disciples in remembrance of Him (Lk. 22:1920). This is not recorded in John, but in the other Gospels.
Then, leaving the upper room. He led His disciples toward the garden of Gethsemane. Before entering the garden, He prayed, in the audience of His disciples, the most wonderful prayer of John 17. No one else could ever voice a prayer like this. He lifted up His eyes to heaven and prayed, -Father. the hour is come.' How different this is to His prayer in' the garden, recorded in Luke 22:41-44. For in the garden He was prostrate on His face, in earnest, agonizing entreaty.
Not so in John 17 for John emphasises the great Godhead glory of the Lord Jesus. So that before He entered the garden, He shows Himself perfectly in control of all the circumstances. Indeed, He speaks from the viewpoint of His work being already fully accomplished: I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do' (v. 4). Then in the same sublime dignity of unity with the Father He prays for His disciples who were to be left in the world and for all those who would later believe on Him through their word.
Certainly then. all is perfectly serene, secure. No doubts can possibly remain as to the absolute fulfillment of God's purposes.
Yet, in the garden of Gethsemane, as Mathew, Mark and Luke combine to tell us, it was necessary that the Lord Jesus should face the ordeal that drew forth His words, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death' (Mt. 26:38). Anticipating the awful anguish of the cross, His agony, even in Gethsemane, was deeper than we can understand. In deepest distress He pleads, 'Father, if thou be willing, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done' (Lk. 22:42).
Though we have already seen that He is the living God in sovereign power above all things, yet here we witness the precious reality of His Manhood, and we adore Him to think that He is both God and Man in one glorious person. As Man He willingly submitted to His Father's will, and though the cost of this for Him was so infinitely great, the results in blessing for us are infinitely great too. Wonderful, wonderful Lord!
Son Of God And Son Of Man
O Lord, our hearts are filled with joy to think of Thee
In all Thy calm, sublime and matchless dignity,
The God of everlasting power and majesty;
And yet come down in wondrous, true humility.
Then suffering, Lord, as holy sinless Son Of Man,
Bearing such anguish as no other ever can,
Feeling the sorrow and the grief as none else could;
In pure, abounding love to us, to shed Thy blood.
O wondrous, gracious, everlasting Son of God!
O wondrous, faithful Son of Man, so pure and good!
We bow with reverent adoration at Thy feet,
And long to give Thee praise and worship more complete.