Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Great Object of Astonishment


Our Lord Jesus Christ bore from of old the name of “Wonderful”, and the word seems all too poor to set forth His marvellous person and character.

He says of Himself, in the language of the prophet,—“Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given Me are for signs and for wonders.” He is a fountain of astonishment to all who know Him, and the more they know of Him, the more are they “astonished” at Him.

It is an astonishing thing that there should have been a Christ at all: the Incarnation is the miracle of miracles; that He who is the Infinite should become an infant, that He who made the worlds should be wrapt in swaddling-bands, remains a fact out of which, as from a hive, new wonders continually fly forth. In His complex nature He is so mysterious, and yet so manifest, that doubtless all the angels of heaven were and are astonished at Him.

O Son of God, and Son of man, when Thou, the Word, wast made flesh, and dwelt among us, and Thy saints beheld Thy glory, it was but natural that many should be astonished at Thee!

[O]ur Lord was, first, a great wonder in His griefs; and, secondly, that He was a great wonder in His glory.

He was a great wonder in his griefs. . . . His visage was marred: no doubt His countenance bore the signs of a matchless grief. There were ploughings on His brow as well as upon His back; suffering, and brokenness of spirit, and agony of heart, had told upon that lovely face, till its beauty, though never to be destroyed, was “so” marred that never was any other so spoiled with sorrow. . . . I cannot conceive that He was deformed or ungainly; but despite His natural dignity, His worn and emaciated appearance marked Him out as “the Man of sorrows”, and to the carnal eye His whole natural and spiritual form had in it nothing which evoked admiration; even as the prophet said, “When we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him”…

[Christ] was so sincere, so transparent, so child-like and true, that whatever stirred within Him was apparent to those about Him, so far as they were capable of understanding His great soul. . . . His deepest griefs and most grievous marring came of His substitutionary work, while bearing the penalty of our sin…

They bound Him, they scourged Him, they mocked Him, they plucked off the hair from His face, they spat upon Him, and at last they nailed Him to the tree, and there He hung. His physical pain alone must have been very great, but all the while there was within His soul an inward torment which added immeasurably to His sufferings…

There is an equal astonishment at His glories. I doubt not, if we could see Him now, as He appeared to John in Patmos, we should feel that we must do exactly as the beloved disciple did, for He deliberately wrote, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” His astonishment was so great that he could not endure the sight. He had doubtless longed often to behold that glorified face and form, but the privilege was too much for him. While we are encumbered with these frail bodies, it is not fit for us to behold our Lord, for we should die with excess of delight if we were suddenly to behold that vision of splendour. Oh, for those glorious days when we shall lie for ever at His feet, and see our exalted Lord!

Our Lord is now exalted in being lifted up from the grave, lifted up above all angels, and principalities, and powers. The Man Christ Jesus is the nearest to the eternal throne, ay, the Lamb is before the throne. . . . He is in His own state and person exalted, and then by the praise rendered Him he is extolled, for he is worshipped and adored by the whole universe. All praise goes up before Him now, so that men extol Him, while “God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”…

It is inconceivable how great and glorious in all respects the Lord Jesus Christ is at this moment.

Oh, that He may be very high in our esteem!

He is not yet exalted and extolled in any of our hearts as He deserves to be. I would we loved Him a thousand times as much as we do, but our whole heart goes after Him, does it not? Would we not die for Him? Would we not set Him on a throne as high as seven heavens, and then think that we had not done enough for Him, who is now our all in all, and more than all?…

If we were astonished at the marring of His face, we shall be much more astonished at the magnificence of His glory. Upon His throne none shall question His supremacy, none shall doubt His loveliness; but His enemies shall weep and wail because of Him whom they pierced; while He shall be admired in all them that believe. Adorable Lord, we long for Thy glorious appearing! We beseech Thee tarry not!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Jesus, The Great Object of Astonishment (Published in Till He Come)

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