Daniel listens with awe deepening ever more as Gabriel tells him that the coming Prince is to be “cut off.” To the returned exiles rebuilding the temple Zechariah acts out a parable in which Jehovah is priced at thirty pieces of silver, the cost of a common slave. And a bit later God speaks of a time when “they shall look upon Me (or Him) whom they have pierced.” And later yet, a still more significant phrase is used, as identifying the divine character of the sufferer, where God speaks of a sword being used “against the man that is My Fellow,” adding, “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” It is God’s Fellow—one on a par with Himself—against whom the opposition is directed.
Such is the great vision in these Hebrew pages of the plan for the coming One. There is a throne on a high mountain peak bathed in wondrous sublime glory, but the writers are puzzled at a dark valley of the shadow of death through which the king seems to be obliged to pick His way up to the throne.
Jesus is to be God’s new Man leading man back on the road into the divine image again, with full mastery of his masterly powers, and through mastery into full dominion again; but the road back seems to be contested, and the new Man gets badly scarred as He fights through and up to victory.
The Tragic Break in the Plan
The Jerusalem Climate.
Then Jesus came. His coming was greeted with great gladness above, and great silence below. Above, the stars sent a special messenger to bid Him welcome to the earth they lightened and brightened. Below, the rusty hinges of earth’s inn refused to swing for Him. So man failing, the lower creation shared room with Him.
Above, was the sweetest music, the music of heaven. Three times the music of heaven is mentioned: at the creation, at this coming of Jesus, at the coming crowning of Jesus in John’s Revelation. Below, the only music was that of the babe’s holy young mother, God’s chosen one to mother His Son, crooning to her babe; and the gentle lowing in minor key of the oxen whose stall He shared. Above, the great glory shining, the messenger of God speaking a message of peace and love. Below, only darkness and silence.
Among the cultured leaders of the city of David, and of Solomon, and of God’s once glorified temple, there were no ears for the message, nor eyes for the glory. They had gone deaf and blind Godward long before. To them came no message, for no door was open. To simple men of nature who lived with the stars and the hills and the sheep, came the new shining of the glory, and the wondrous messenger and message. Their doors were open. They practised looking up. Of course neither city nor country mattered, nor matters. God always speaks into the upturned ear and looks into the upturned face.
And so Jesus came. With all of its contrasts it was a winsome coming. A pure young mother nursing her babe; the babe with its sweet wondrous face, a fresh act of God indeed; the simple unselfish cattle; the bright stars; the Glory shining; the sudden flood of music; the Lord’s messenger; the message—a very winsome coming.