Consider Three Things
“Consider…Christ Jesus” (Heb 3:1)
In the English language, “to consider” originally meant “to observe the stars.” Logically, it came to mean “to reflect, to meditate, to deliberate, to contemplate thoughtfully” (New Century Dictionary).
We find a parallel in our own experience. How many times have we gone out into the night to think clearly when we have been heavily oppressed and weighed down with care and circumstances. Then, as naturally as a child turning to its father with tear streaked face, we have lifted up our eyes to the sky and sighed, “Lord! Lord!” What a relief to find him still there! With surprise almost, we see the stars without number in their fixed places. The rolling over of countless eons of time has not displaced a single one. They are the same stars under which Abraham journeyed to a land he knew not.
“O lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!…When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars… what is man that thou art mindful of him?”
How fitting then, in meditation, that we should lift up our eyes and see that “Bright and Morning Star,” Christ Jesus Himself. The dimensions of thought increase and expand like the cloud of an atom burst. In those moments of quiet reflection we see that shining light. We catch a glimpse of eternal things. “…the things of earth grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
1. Consider Christ’s Incarnation
But to enjoy and appreciate that fulness of the Godhead which was among us bodily, we must descend in thought and consider Him first in His humiliation, as a man. We see Him come down, down from that place and time of joy before His Father, where He was daily His delight. We look in breathless wonder at the plunge from this glory to the grit and grime of earth, as He deliberately “made Himself of no reputation.” It was such a premeditated act of humiliation, so totally unselfish and unlike the world, that the lowest of men in that hour beheld it with complete astonishment. “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
That act of humiliation would have been enough in itself to convict men. It was convincing in its completeness, its unreproachable willingness. Yet God, in Christ, went one step further. He became a servant in His humiliation. He came, not to be ministered unto, but to minister. None could ever lay it to His charge that He sought anything for Himself. None could say He sought anything but their love. “The Father seeketh such to worship Him.” It was this low, low entrance into the world that stripped Christ of all motive but to do the will of His Father which sent Him. It was this single-hearted devotion to complete victory over Satan that led Christ down that Jericho path.
But the depth had not yet been reached. This Wonderful Counsellor, this Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, not only became man, not only became a servant of men, but humbled Himself still further. His flaming devotion, His complete obedience, flashed like a brilliant comet across the dark sky of that evil generation. It was a generation of lawless, disobedient men who reigned unchecked, unbridled in their license, their fearlessness, their blasphemy, their presumptuousness and cruelty. It was in their midst “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
2. Consider Christ’s Crucifixion
This leads us to the second consideration. Look at the Son of God in his crucifixion. “Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself.” Was there any sorrow like unto His sorrow? Is there any way to measure that obedience unto death? Is there any human experience with which to compare that faithfulness to the great atoning work of Messiah walking serenely into the very bowels of the earth, right into and out of Sheol (the grave) itself, “a victor over the dark domain?”
Consider the scene of that crucifixion closely. Man could not invent such a picture of unrelieved horror. Even in the diabolical depths of his depraved nature there is no way he could have created the preparatory scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, where the mere contemplation of sin drew great drops of blood from the Savior. The physical agony upon the cross is barely hinted at in all the Gospels. It was too horrible. “They crucified him.” That was sufficient to draw pain through their eyes. It was sufficient to drive a sword through the heart of Mary, His mother.
Consider also these two black, brutal facts. They parted His garments and cast lots for them. They sat down and watched Him there (Matt. 27:35, 36). If an artist could paint the callousness of the human heart, he could not do it in fewer strokes. Here the reprobate heart is laid bare. Such are men who are past feeling and have given themselves over to uncleanness and greediness, “having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (lit; hardness) of their heart.”
Observe the refined torture inflicted by those wicked men. Human pity would have drawn a curtain over such naked agony, but this hour was conceived by Satan and was being directed by him to draw the last drop of suffering from a battle that he could not win. We see the flames leaping from the pit and up and around the stretched-out one on the cross. We see it in the taunting of the two thieves, the reviling of the passers-by as they wagged their heads, the chief priests mocking, with the elders and scribes, the same who were once astonished at His teaching.
“If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross!”
“Save thyself, King of Israel!”
“Is this the Savior of the world? Why, He can’t even save Himself!” “Do you still trust in God? Why, look! Even God won’t have you now!”
The Scriptures drop the curtain on this terrifying drama with these words: “The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.”
3. Consider Christ’s Exaltation
What infamy! What depravity! What bestiality! O death, where is thy sting!
But God, the creator of the ends of the earth, He that holds the waters in the palm of His hand, this God, our God, knows the beginning from the end. He commands us to behold this “same Jesus” — risen, triumphant, sitting at His right hand. We are to consider Him in His exaltation, as King. But not only as King, but King of kings; not the King of the Jews who was killed that day outside the city wall, but the Saviour of the world.
Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
Consider all this closely. What is humiliation now? What is suffering now? Who would exchange one moment of the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ for all the humiliation and suffering in the world? Jesus Christ considered in His humiliation as man, in His crucifixion as Savior, is but the barest outline of His exaltation as King, “which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, or can see, to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”
This is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. We have considered Him. We have gone out into the long night of our doubt and fear. We have lifted our eyes heavenward to observe the stars. One by one they begin to fade, darkness passes, and a strange thing happens. Doubts and fears retreat before that Bright and Morning Star, the brightest of them all, fairer then ten thousand. We are strangely content. We have found the desire of our hearts. We have found Him. “whom our soul loveth.” We are satisfied.
We return and enter into our houses. The Daystar has risen in our hearts.