A. T. Darch, West Monkton
OUR LORD'S ENEMIES had to acknowledge that " never man spake like this man ", for truly no man was ever like this man.
No man ever existed like this Man. He could say, " Before Abraham was, I am ", John 8. 58. When praying to His Father He prayed, " Glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was ", John 17. 5. Also Micah wrote of Him saying that His goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
No man was prophesied of like this Man. In the Old Testament, Josiah, Cyrus and John Baptist were prophesied of, but to Him gave all the prophets witness, Acts 10. 43. Zechariah alone wrote of Him n times while we are told that more than 300 Old Testament prophecies have direct reference to the person of Christ, which have been already fulfilled.
His birth was like no other. Isaiah wrote that " a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel ", Isa. 7.14. In Matt. 1.18-25 and Luke 1. 26-38 we read that this was fulfilled in the birth of Mary's Son.
No other man ever had such names as He. Such names as Immanuel (God with us). Son of God, Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace, do not describe the sons of Adam.
As an infant He alone knew God as His God. Psalm 22. 10 tells us that He was cast upon God, and that God was His God from the day of His birth. The angel of the Lord came to tell the good news that Christ was born, and a multitude of the heavenly host praised God at His coming. At His birth He received worship, startled a king, troubled a city, caused a star and wise men to travel from the east to Bethlehem, and made His mother ponder in her heart.
At the age of twelve He astonished the Doctors of Law at His understanding and answers, and amazed Joseph and His mother.
When He began His public ministry He undertook to do what no other had ever done. He undertook to fulfil the Law, that means that He would perfectly obey the Ten Commandments, that He would be the Anti-type of the Old Testament types, and that He would fulfil all the scriptures relating to His first coming, Matt. 5. 17, 18. In relation to the first He could say " Which of you convinceth me of sin ?", John 8. 46, and " I do always those things that please him (the Father) ", John 8. 29. In relation to the second He was an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour, Eph. 5. 2. The Sin-Offering, 1 Pet. 2. 24, and the Peace-Offering, Col. 1. 20. He knew perfectly which of the Old Testament Scriptures referred to His first coming, and which to His future coming. If He had entered Jerusalem riding on the ass instead of the ass's colt. He would not have fulfilled Zech. 9. 9.
To this day all agree that man never spake like this Man. The Old Testament does not set such a high standard as He, and yet His teaching never contradicted any of its teaching.
No man healed as this Man. He never turned one away. He never confessed that any disease was beyond His power to heal. He never gave medicine. His ' patients ' never needed to be nursed back to health. He never charged for His services. He alone could say " I am the resurrection and the life " - and make people believe it.
It could be said of Him alone that He never needed to seek advice. He never changed His mind, was in a hurry, showed personal fear, was beaten in an argument, distrusted God, refused to help another, confessed a sin, made a mistake, apologized for word or deed. He was never taken by surprise. He never said, " I think ", " I do not know ", or " I expect so ". He never exhorted others to do what He did not do Himself, except to confess their sins. He never compromised the Truth or countenanced sin, spoke or acted unkindly, worked a miracle for His own advantage, murmured, failed or was discouraged. He never objected to anyone repeating anything He had said, but what He said they were to preach on the housetop.
Never did man die- as He died. He was commanded of God to die and to rise again, John 10. 18. He knew that the Old Testament had said that it would be by crucifixion. He also knew who would betray Him, so when His time had come He said to Judas Iscariot, " That thou doest, do quickly ", then He went to Gethsemane where He knew that Judas would come with a band of men to take Him. When there, He did not try to escape arrest; when before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod, He refused to say anything in His own defence so as to be saved from death, but the few times He spoke, He said only that which might cause them to condemn Him.
When dying, men are too weak to hold their heads erect or cry with a loud voice, and cannot in any case dismiss their spirit, but He, at the moment when His work on the Cross was done, cried with a loud voice, bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.
Others have been raised from the dead, but He raised Himself. Truly death could not hold its prey. Enoch and Elijah were taken up to heaven, but He ascended and passed into the heavens and is now sitting on the right hand of God. Well might we sing :
No mortal can with Him compare,
Among the sons of men.
Fairer is He than all the fair
That fill the heavenly train