The Christian pilgrimage has a glorious termination. We must keep this fully in view. We seek a city that is to come; we are not journeying to any uncertain, imaginary place. We are going to our heavenly mansion; we are traveling to the celestial city; we are wending our way to our glorious inheritance, and in a little while--O solemn thought! God give us to realize it!--it will burst upon us in its glory, blessed, indescribable, inconceivable glory, and we shall exchange an earthly yet Christian pilgrimage, for the heavenly and eternal rest that awaits the people of God--the end of our pilgrimage.
The Fullness of Christ: Unfolded in the History of Joseph
Thus does the Lord lead His people. He leads them through the wilderness, up the steep ascent, and down into the low valley, through water and fire, cloud and storm, thorn-brake and desert, watching them with an eye that never slumbers, keeping them by a hand that never wearies, and encircling them with a love that never chills. Thus, step by step He leads them on, from grace to glory, from earth to heaven, from the wilderness below to the paradise above. Not one of that flock, thus led, thus guarded, thus loved, shall be missing when the Shepherd folds them on high. His “rod and His staff” will be found to have restored them, guided them, comforted them, and at last to have brought them home—little faith, and fickle love, and weak grace, and limited experience, and defective knowledge, and faltering steps, finding their way, through trial and temptation and suffering, home to God—not one “vessel of mercy” missing. Oh, who but Christ could accomplish this? Who but the Divine Shepherd could thus have kept, and thus have gathered, and thus have folded the sheep scattered up and down in the cloudy and dark day? What an evidence of the Godhead of Christ! Oh, crown His deity! crown it with your faith, crown it with your love, crown it with your praise, ye who have “now received the atonement;” for nothing short of this could place you within the realms of glory. And this, when there, will be your crown and joy for ever.
Recently a meditation passed through my Winslow devotional feed that actually deals with the series in Hebrews Pastor Babij is working through. I though it might be helpful and encouraging.
The cross of Christ was in Paul's view the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men. The cross of Christ was the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race. The cross of Christ was the scene of Christ's splendid victories over all His enemies and ours. The cross of Christ was the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness. The cross of Christ was the instrument which was to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus. The cross of Christ was the source of all true peace, joy, and hope. The cross of Christ is the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expired, all grace lived.
The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! How significant their meaning—how precious their influence! Marvelous and irresistible is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has subdued many a rebellious will. The cross of Christ has broken many a marble heart. The cross of Christ has laid low many a vaunting foe. The cross of Christ has overcome and triumphed when all other instruments have failed. The cross of Christ has transformed the lion-like heart of man, into the lamb-like heart of Christ. And when lifted up in its own naked simplicity and inimitable grandeur, the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love!
What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian's entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross, his opinion is totally revolutionized. He sees it as it really is—a sinful, empty, vain thing. He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. His expectations from the world, his love to the world, are changed. He has found another object of love—the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. And his love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it—the crucifying power of the cross.