From Your Pastor: “Christ’s Beautiful Heart towards His People” by Thomas Goodwin

(Edited by Charles R. Biggs)

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens , Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:15-16

     The Heart of Christ in Heaven towards Sinners on Earth[1] (1651) is a wonderful sermon series by Thomas Goodwin (1600-79) to stir up our affections to know the love of Christ that He has for us in His exalted state in Heaven. The subtitle of the sermon is “A Treatise Demonstrating the Glorious Disposition and Tender Affection of Christ, in His Human Nature Now in Glory, unto His Members, under All Sorts of Infirmities, Either of Sin or Misery”.

The immediate intention of the sermon was to reject the popular idea that Christians in the post-apostolic age were at a disadvantage to Christians who knew Christ on earth because Christ was now glorified. Goodwin asserted from the Holy Scriptures that Christ feels strong affections, deep compassion, and emotional sympathy toward His suffering people even while seated at God’s right hand.[2]

Goodwin said that the Bible “does, as it were, take our hands and lay them upon Christ’s breast, and let us feel how his heart beats…toward us, even now [when] he is in glory.”

     It is important to understand how Goodwin defined faith, and how it could be powerfully used to build up and edify the Christian as it focused on Christ. Gordon Crompton says that Goodwin defined faith as the spiritual sight and knowledge of Christ. In Goodwin, “we see Christ’s spiritual excellencies and His glory, and our heart is taken with them.” Michael Horton asserts that Goodwin’s favorite definition of faith was this:

“Now this Spirit, when he comes down thus into the heart, works eyes, and feet, and hands, and all to look upon Christ, and to come to Christ, and to lay hold upon Christ…. And faith is eyes, and hands, and feet, yea, and mouth, and stomach, and all; for we eat his flesh and drink his blood by faith.”

     What problem does Christ’s exaltation of passing into heaven pose for our faith? What is the solution?

The Problem: Goodwin recognized that sinful men might be put off by the words “a great high priest that is passed into the heavens” (Heb. 4:15). Believers might think that the greatness of the exalted Christ might cause Him to forget us, and think something like:

…But now He has gone into a far country, where He has put on glory and immortality,” Goodwin points out. He sits as king at God’s right hand in heaven. His human nature is aflame with glory. How can we boldly approach such a king? How can we expect Him, in exalted power and holiness, to bear patiently with us when we are so weak, foolish, and sinful?”

Solution/Encouragement: Goodwin taught that Christ’s mercy is so certain that Scripture uses a double negative to forcefully declare the positive truth: “We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.”

Our infirmities stir Christ’s compassion; Goodwin argues from Hebrews that “infirmities” include both our troubles and our sins. It is as if Jesus says to His own in His exalted state:

“Your very sins move him to pity more than to anger…even as the heart of a father is to a child that hath some loathsome disease, or as one is to a member of his body that hath the leprosy, he hates not the member, for it is his flesh, but the disease, and that provokes him to pity the part affected the more.”

Goodwin gives a helpful example of this idea; he wrote: “If your child becomes very sick, you do not kick the child out; you weep with him and tend to his needs. Christ responds to our sins with compassion despite His abhorrence of them.”

     How can Christ be tender-hearted toward believers now that He is glorified and freed from all earthly pain and cares? Christ’s compassion flows out of His personal human experience. Hebrews 4:15 says that He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Earlier, Hebrews 2:18 says, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor [tenderly help] them that are tempted.”

Today in heaven, Jesus in His human nature knows everything that happens to believers on earth. Jesus says to His church in Revelation 2:2, “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience.” This is possible because Christ’s human nature is filled with the Holy Spirit beyond measure, and the Spirit is like Christ’s eyes in all the earth (Rev. 5:6).

Knowing our distress here in this world of sin and misery, Our kind Lord Jesus remembers how He felt when facing similar miseries. Christ even knows the experience of sin’s guilt and the horror of facing God’s wrath against sin. Although personally sinless, Christ bore all the sins of His people. His knowledge of our pain along with the memory of His pain moves His heart to overflow with compassion.

We must remember that Christ is God and man. This is a very practical doctrine for us to understand as believers. As God, Christ is infinite, eternal, and unchanging. But, as a man, He has been lifted up to a new level of glory. Goodwin said,

“For it is certain that as his knowledge was enlarged upon his entering into glory, so his human affections of love and pity are enlarged in solidity, strength, and reality…Eph. 3:19, ‘The love of Christ,’ the God-man, ‘surpasses knowledge.’”

So Christ is not hurt by our sufferings, but His human soul responds to our sufferings with glorious, beautiful tenderness.

In Goodwin’s study of the Gospel of John, chapters 13 through 20, he showed Christ’s determination and passion toward His Beloved people. In his focus on John 13 to 17, he reminds us of Jesus’ sweet words in John 13:1: “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.”  Even when Jesus’ mind was set on His imminent exaltation to supreme glory, Goodwin said, “his heart ran out in love towards, and was set upon, ‘his own:’…his own, a word denoting the greatest nearness, dearness, and intimacy founded upon propriety [or ownership].”

At that precise time, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, demonstrating that Christ’s glorification would not diminish but rather increase His love and grace service to His people. Jesus said in John 14 to 16 that He would ascend to heaven to secure our happiness as believers. He would prepare a place for us, He said. And He would return like a bridegroom to bring us to our eternal home. Goodwin wrote,

“It is as if [Jesus] had said, ‘The truth is, I cannot live without you, I shall never be quiet till I have you where I am, that so we may never part again; that is the reason of it. Heaven shall not hold me, nor my Father’s company, if I have not you with me, my heart is set upon you; and if I have any glory, you shall have part of it.’”

In Goodwin’s words, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would comfort us with “nothing but stories of my love,” for He would not speak of Himself but as one sent from Christ.

Meanwhile, Christ promised to pray for us in heaven, and to send answers like love letters from a bridegroom to his beloved. He demonstrated His commitment to pray for us by interceding even then, as seen in John 17.34. Goodwin stresses that when Jesus ascended to heaven, His last earthly act was to pronounce a blessing on His disciples (Luke 24:50–51). His first official act as the enthroned king was to pour out the Holy Spirit upon His church (Acts 2:33)—all the works of the Holy Spirit testify of Christ’s present love for His church.

Goodwin asks: Does a minister preach the gospel by the Holy Spirit? It is because of Christ’s heart for sinners. Does the Spirit move you to pray? It is because Christ is praying for you. Does the New Testament express Christ’s love for sinners? It was all written “since Christ’s being in heaven, by his Spirit.”

     Goodwin proved Christ’s compassion for His people from each Person of the Triune God. Goodwin explained that Christ is compassionate because of the influence of the Trinity on the ministry of Christ. The doctrine of the Trinity profoundly shaped Goodwin’s theology. Goodwin believed the ancient doctrine that “the external works of the Trinity are undivided”—that is, everything God does in creation, providence, and redemption is the work of all three persons in cooperation with each other, each acting in His own distinct manner. Christ’s ministry of compassion flows from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

God the Father gave Christ the office of high priesthood to exhibit mercy and compassion. Goodwin says that the priesthood “requires of him all mercifulness and graciousness towards sinners that do come unto him…. As his kingly office is an office of power and dominion, and his prophetical office an office of knowledge and wisdom, so his priestly office is an office of grace and mercy.”

Everything the Father sent Christ to do, He has done for us. As Goodwin expounded, Christ died for us; He rose for us; He ascended into heaven for us; He sits at the right hand of God for us; He intercedes for us. From beginning to end, our high priest acts as the Father’s appointed surety and representative of His elect people.

The Son’s beautiful heart is a manifestation of the Father’s beautiful heart. So Goodwin invites us,

“Come first to Christ, and he will take thee by the hand, and go along with thee, and lead thee to his Father.”

In seeing the Father’s loving heart, we are assured that His obedient Son will love us forever. Goodwin also cites Matthew 11:28–29, which reveals Jesus as God’s exalted Son. But Jesus also says in these verses, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Therefore, Goodwin said, we are to take the sweetest thoughts we ever had of a dear friend and raise them up infinitely higher in our thoughts of the sweetness of Jesus. What a friend we have in Jesus! His divine nature as the Son of God proves that He will have compassion on every sinner who comes to Him.

How did the Second Person of the Trinity become human like us? Luke 1:35 says that the Holy Spirit worked a miracle in the womb of a virgin. Goodwin writes,

“It was the Spirit who overshadowed his mother, and, in the meanwhile, knit that indissoluble knot between our nature and the second person, and that also knit his heart unto us.”

But Goodwin says that the Spirit did more. All the “excellencies” or graces that filled Christ’s human nature were a result of the Spirit’s work in Him. Goodwin’s comforting and cogent argument here is that “if the same Spirit that was upon him, and in him, when he was on earth, doth but still rest upon him now he is in heaven, then those dispositions must needs still rest entirely upon him.”

The Holy Spirit empowered Christ’s human nature to be a channel of God’s mercy to us. Christ’s human heart has a greater capacity for kindness than the hearts of all men and angels. God is infinitely merciful. Christ’s humanity does not make Him more merciful, but makes Him merciful in a way suited to our needs. The incarnation does not increase God’s mercy, but brings His mercy near to us.

What are the four applications to believers that Goodwin gives in The Heart of Christ? How do they apply to your life?

* Christ’s heart of compassion affords us the strongest encouragements against sin. We know that Christ is not at rest in His heart until our sins are removed. Those sins move Him more to pity than to anger even though He hates them.

* Whatever trial, temptation, or misery we may suffer, we know that Christ also endured it and that His heart moves to relieve us in our distress.

* The thought of how much we grieve Christ’s heart by sin and disobedience is the strongest incentive we have against sinning.

* In all our miseries and distresses, though every human comforter fails, we know that we have a Friend who will help, pity, and succor us: Christ in heaven.

Dear believers, how full of compassion Christ is for us as He sits upon His throne of glory. Surely, reflecting on this truth should help us rejoice in Christ and set our hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Goodwin writes,

“What is it to have Christ thus dwell in the heart by faith?… It is to have Jesus Christ continually in one’s eye, an habitual sight of him.”

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

 

Footnotes

[1] Thomas Goodwin, ‘The Heart of Christ’ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust Reprint, 2011). Also available on the KCPC booktable.

[2] Some of the following digest is from  A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012).

 

Jonathan Edwards: “The Excellency of Christ”

Jonathan Edwards- ‘The Excellency of Christ’ (edited and updated for 21st century Christians by Rev. Charles R. Biggs) 
 
“And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (ESV Revelation 5:5-6). 
 
Edwards begins by stating: “There is an admirable conjunction or meeting of diverse and paradoxical elements in the Person of Jesus Christ.” 
 
Jesus is called a “Lion”. “Behold the Lion of the Tribe of Judah”. Jesus is also called “Lamb”. “…I saw a Lamb”. John saw a Lamb who had prevailed to open the book. The book was John’s vision, or visual portrait of God’s decrees where the events in time and space were foreordained from the foundation of the world. The Lamb was “as if it had been slain”.  
 
A lion is a devourer, one that is able and desires to make a terrible slaughters of others. No creature falls more easily prey to a lion than a lamb…The lion excels in strength, and in the majesty of his appearance and voice. The lamb excels in meekness and patience, besides the excellent nature of the creature as good for food, and yielding that which is fit for our clothing, and being suitable to be offered in sacrifice to God. But in Jesus Christ, we see both: 
 
Because the diverse excellencies of both the lion and lamb wonderfully meet in him! 
 
Such are the various divine perfections and excellencies that Christ is possessed of. Christ is a divine person and therefore has all the attributes of God. There do meet in Jesus Christ infinite highness and infinite condescension. Christ, as he is God, is infinitely great and high above all. He is higher than the kings of the earth for He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is higher than the heavens, and higher than all the highest angels of heaven. 
 
So great is Christ, that all men, kings and princes, are as worms of the dust before him…He is so high, that he is infinitely above any need of us. He is above our reach, that we cannot profitable to him, and above our conceptions that we cannot fully comprehend him. Christ is the Creator and great Possessor (owner) of heaven and earth. He is sovereign Lord of all. His knowledge and wisdom is without bounds. His power is infinite, and none can resist him. His riches are immense and inexhaustible. His majesty is infinitely terrible (awesome or awful). 
 
And yet Jesus is one of infinite condescension. 
 
None are so low or inferior, but Christ’s condescension is sufficient to take a careful notice of them. He condescends graciously not only to the angels, humbling himself to behold the things that are done in heaven, but he also condescends to such poor creatures as sinful men- -even to those who are of the lowest rank and degree, such as those commonly despised by their fellow creatures- – yet Christ does not despise them (1 Cor. 1:28). 
 
Christ condescends to take notice of beggars (Luke 16:22) and people of the most despised nations of men (Col. 3:11). He that is thus high, condescends to take a gracious notice of little children (Matt. 14:14). What is even more significant, is that Christ takes a gracious notice of the most unworthy, sinful creatures, those that have no right to ask anything of God, and those that have infinitely offended God’s holiness and character by living sinfully and selfishly, a law unto themselves. 
 
And yet so great is Jesus’ condescension. 
 
What a meeting of infinite highness and low condescension do we see in the Person of Jesus Christ! We see in many of our experiences what a tendency that a high position or station with men will make them quite the contrary in their disposition.  
 
If one worm be a little exalted above another, by having more dust, or a bigger dunghill, how much does he make of himself! What a distance does he keep from those that are below him! And a little condescension is what he expects of other men below him and for his position to be acknowledged as important and powerful! 
 
Yet Christ condescends to wash our feet, even the feet of sinners who think so highly of themselves! 
 
In Christ we also see infinite justice and infinite grace come together paradoxically and meet in his person. 
 
As Christ is a divine person, he is infinitely holy and just, hating sin, and disposed to execute deserved punishment for it upon sinners. He is the Judge of the world, and the infinitely just Judge of it, and will not at all acquit the wicked, or by any means clear the guilty.  
 
And yet Christ is infinitely gracious and merciful. 
 
Though his justice by so strict with respect to sin, and every breach of God’s Law, yet he has grace sufficient for every sinner, and even the chief of sinners. There is no benefit or blessing that sinners can receive that is greater than the sufficient grace of Christ, that can be received by even the greatest of sinners! 
 
Christ not only bestowed grace for those sinners who will receive it by faith, but he suffered in this world of sin and misery in order to mercy to sinners. He suffered the most extreme evil unto death, receiving in himself the curse and punishment of God for sinners, although he was blameless and without sin. Christ had sufferings in his soul, that were the most immediate fruits of the wrath of God against the sins of those whom he loves and stands in for as the merciful Savior. 
 
In the Person of Christ we see infinite glory and lowest humility come together paradoxically and meet in his person. 
 
Infinite glory, and the virtue of humility meet in no other person but Christ. Infinite glory and lowest humility meet in no created person, for no created person has infinite glory, and they meet in no other divine person but Christ….In Jesus Christ, who is both God and man, those two diverse excellencies are sweetly united. Christ is a person infinitely exalted in glory and dignity (Phil. 2:6ff).  
 
But however he is thus above all in glory, yet he is lowest of all in humility. 
 
There never was so great an instance of this virtue among either men or angels. None were ever so sensible and aware of the distance between God and him, or had a heart so lowly before God, as the man Christ Jesus (Matt. 11:29). What a wonderful spirit of humility appeared in him, when he was here upon earth, in all his life! In his contentment in his humble outward condition, contentedly living in the family of Joseph the carpenter, and Mary his mother, for thirty years together, and afterwards choosing outward poverty, contempt, rather than earthly greatness. He was content to wash dirty disciples’ feet, in all of his speeches being a humble yet content man, and his cheerfully sustaining the form of a slave through his whole life, and submitting to such immense humiliation in death. 
 
In the Person of Christ we see infinite majesty and transcendent meekness come together paradoxically and meet in his person. 
 
These again are two qualifications and qualities that meet together in no other person but Christ. Meekness is a virtue proper only to the creature. We scarcely ever find meekness mentioned as a divine attribute in Scripture, at least not in the New Testament. But Christ being both God and man, has both infinite majesty and superlative meekness. 
 
Christ was a person of infinite majesty. It is he that is mighty, that rides on the heavens, and his excellency on the sky. It is he that is terrible out of his holy places, who is mightier than the noise of many waters, even the great waters of the sea. Before him a fire goes, and burns up his enemies around him, at whose presence the earth quakes, and the hills melt. He is the One who sits on the circle of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the earth are as grasshoppers…He is the One who inhabits eternity, whose Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and of whose dominion shall never end! (Psalm 45). 
 
And yet Christ was the most marvelous instance of meekness, and humble quietness of spirit who ever lived! 
 
He says about himself that he is meek and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29). There was never such an exemplary life of meekness and humility than Jesus. Under injuries, persecutions, jeers, and sinful slander, Jesus did not revile! Jesus had a wonderful spirit of forgiveness, ready to forgive his worst enemies, and prayed for them with fervent and effectual prayers! With what meekness did he appear in the ring of soldiers that were condemning and mocking him- – yet he was silent, and opened not his mouth, but went as a lamb to the slaughter. 
 
Jesus Christ is a lion in majesty and a lamb in meekness. 
 
In the Person of Christ we see the deepest reverence towards God and yet equality with God. 
 
Christ, when on earth, appeared full of holy reverence towards the Father. He paid the most reverential worship to him, praying to him with postures of reverence such as kneeling before him and others. God the Father has no attribute or perfection that the Son has not, in equal degree, and equal glory, yet Christ was reverent before His Father. 
 
In the Person of Christ we see an exceeding spirit of obedience with supreme dominion over heaven and earth. 
 
Christ is the Lord of all things in two respects: (1) As God-man and Mediator between God and man, and thus his dominion is appointed, or given to him by His Father. He has his dominion in one respect as by delegation of God; He is His Father’s vicegerent. (2) In another respect, he is Lord of all things because he is God, and so he is by natural right the Lord of all, and supreme over all as much as the Father. Thus, he has dominion over the world, not by delegation, but in his own right. 
 
And yet is found in the same Jesus Christ, both God and man, the greatest spirit of obedience to the commands and laws of God that ever was in the universe which was manifest in his obedience here in this world (John 14:31). The greatness of his obedience appears in its perfection, and in his obeying commands of such exceeding difficulty. 
 
Never has any one received commands from God of such difficulty! One of God’s commands to Jesus was that he should yield himself to those dreadful sufferings on the cross which he underwent with full knowledge and willingness for us (John 10:18). As Philippians 2:8 says: “He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” As Hebrews 5:8 says: “Though he was a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things he suffered.” 
 
In the Person of Christ we see absolute sovereignty and perfect resignation. 
 
Christ, as he is God, is the absolute sovereign of the world, the sovereign disposer of every single event. The decrees of God are all his sovereign decrees, and the work of creation, and all of God’s works of providence are his sovereign works.  
 
Yet Christ was the greatest example of resignation that has ever appeared in this world. He was absolutely and perfectly resigned when he had a near and immediate prospect of his terrible sufferings, and the dreadful cup that he was to drink. The idea and expectation of this made his soul exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death, and put him into such agony, that his sweat was as it were great drops or clots of blood, falling down to the ground. Yet in these circumstances, he was fully resigned to the sovereign purposes of God and his will (Matt. 26:39): “O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” 
 
What an amazing act of grace was it when Christ took upon our human nature. In this act of great condescension, he who was God became man. The Word should be made flesh, and should take on him a nature infinitely below his original nature. We should appreciate the remarkably low circumstances of his incarnation: He was conceived in the womb of a poor young woman, whose poverty appeared in this, when she came to offer sacrifices for her purification, she brought what was allowed of in the Law only in the case of poverty, a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons. 
 
Christ’s infinite condescension marvelously appeared in the manner of his birth. He was brought forth in a stable, because there was no room for them in the inn. The inn was taken up by others, that were looked upon as persons of greater account. The blessed Virgin, being poor and despised, was turned or shut out. Though she was in such need, yet those that counted themselves her better would not give place to them. Therefore, in her time of giving birth, she was forced to give birth to her son in a stable, and laid him in a feed trough. 
 
There Christ lay a little infant, and there he eminently appeared as a lamb. But yet this feeble infant, born this way in a stable, and laid in a feed trough, was born to conquer and triumph over Satan, that roaring lion (cf. 1 Peter 5:8). Jesus came to subdue the mighty powers of darkness, and make a show of them openly, and so to restore peace on earth, and to manifest God’s good-will towards men, and to bring glory to God in the highest!  
 
In Jesus Christ’s life, and especially in his suffering and death, he appears as paradoxically both lion and lamb. 
 
He appeared as a lamb in the hands of his cruel enemies, as a lamb in the paws and between the devouring jaws of a roaring lion. He was a lamb actually slain by this lion, and yet at the same time, as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, he conquers and triumphs over Satan, destroying his own devourer! In Christ’s death on the cross, we see the glorious strength of the lion destroying his enemies, as he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter. 
 
In Christ’s greatest weakness he was the strongest!  
 
Even in Christ’s present state of exaltation in heaven, we see the attributes of both the lion and the lamb! In his exalted state, he most eminently appears in manifestation of those excellencies and strength of a great lion, but he still appears as a lamb. Though Christ be now at the right hand of God, exalted as King of Heaven, and Lord of the universe, yet as he is still in the human nature, he still excels in humility! 
 
Though the man Christ Jesus be now at the right hand of God, and is the highest of all creatures in heaven as a glorified man, yet he still excels all in humility because he still knows the infinite distance between the Creator and the creature. Though he now appears in such glorious majesty and dominion in heaven, yet he appears as a lamb in his condescending, mild, and sweet treatment of His saints here on earth. For he is a lamb still, even amidst the throne of his exaltation, and he that is Shepherd of the whole flock is himself a Lamb, and goes before them in heaven as such! 
 
Though in heaven every knee bows to him, and though the angels fall down before him adoring him, yet he treats his saints with infinite condescension, love, mildness, patience, and endearment. And in his acts towards the saints on earth, Jesus still appears as a lamb, manifesting exceeding love and tenderness in his intercession for them, as one that has had experience of affliction and temptation like them. 
 
Behold the Lamb who instructs, supplies grace, and comfort, coming to His own, and manifesting himself to them by His Spirit, supping with them at His table, and enabling them to do that which pleases God. Behold the Lamb admitting His people to sweet communion with Him, enabling them with boldness and confidence to come to him, and quieting their hearts with his peace. 
 
Jesus Christ will come again and will appear as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He will appear in infinite greatness and majesty, when he shall come again in glory, with all his holy angels, and the earth shall tremble before him, and the hills shall melt (Rev. 19:11-17; 20:11). The devils tremble at the thought of his appearance, and when the time comes, the kings, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, shall hide themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of mountains, and shall cry to the mountains and rocks to fall on them, to hide them from the face and wrath of the Lamb! 
 
Jesus Christ will at the same time appear as a Lamb to his saints. He will receive them as friends and brethren, treating those who believe and have awaited his return with infinite mildness and love. The church shall be then admitted to him as his bride and that shall be their wedding day. The saints shall all be sweetly invited to come with him to inherit the kingdom, and reign with him in it for all eternity. 
 
Jesus Christ the Lamb of God invites his people to come unto him and trust in him. With what sweet grace and kindness does he invite us to sup and fellowship with him by His Spirit. Jesus Christ the Lion of Judah invites his people to come to him in his glorious power and dominion for defense and shelter amidst the storms and struggles of this life. 
 
Would you choose for a friend a person like Christ with such dignity? It is a thing common to our experience in this world to have those for our friends who are much above us because we look upon ourselves honored by the friendship of such. Thus, how a young inferior maid would be pleased to have a great and excellent prince to give his dear love to her?! This is the stuff of fairy tales! But Christ is infinitely above you, and above all the princes o of the earth for he is King of kings. So honorable a person as this offers himself to you, in the nearest and dearest friendship! 
 
Christ will himself give himself to you by faith, with all those various excellencies that paradoxically meet together in him, to your full and everlasting enjoyment. He will forever after treat you as his dear friend, and you shall always be where he is, and shall behold his glory, and dwell with him, in most free and intimate communion and enjoyment (1 John 3:1-3; Rev. 21:1-7).