Turn in your Bible to the fifth chapter of the Song of Solomon. In Solomon's Song we have two delightful portraits of our Blessed Saviour and one of them is from verse 9 to verse 16 in chapter five.
9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?
10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.
11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.
13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.
14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.
15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
There we have those wonderful words, "yea, He is altogether lovely".
I was thinking, as I have had time to think during the last days, of my Saviour, I noticed something in this text I have never noticed before, that the loveliness of Christ extends in the withdrawals he made in order that you might enjoy eternal salvation.
1. His Withdrawal From Heaven - His Humility
Of course, the first withdrawal He made was His withdrawal from heaven. That underscores His humiliation. He was King of heaven. He was the Beloved Son of the Beloved Father. Second Person of the adorable Trinity. He made all things, He ordered all things. Yet he withdrew from it all. For what? For you and for me.
I would say today in His Humiliation He is altogether lovely.
How lovely was that act when He laid aside His kingly robes? How lovely was that act when He left the eternal throne of the Everlasting Jehovah God? How lovely was that act when he bade farewell to His Father? From that light unapproachable that no man can approach unto, His withdrawal, His Humiliation.
2. His Withdrawal into Flesh - His Incarnation
Then we had His withdrawal into the flesh. I don't think we ever appreciate what the Lord did when He became flesh and dwelt among us. The Lord Jesus took into union with His eternal deity our humanity forever. He will never be the same because He has taken into union with His deity our humanity and He is the Godman. He will always be, thank God we will always be able to say "There's a man in the glory". I cannot touch God, but thank God, I can touch the Man Christ Jesus and He is God incarnate in the flesh. If He is lovely in His Humiliation thank God He is lovely in His Incarnation.
We can see His face. Our hands can handle, as the epistle of John we were reading from and hearing from so blessedly this morning tells us, our hands have handled of the Word of Life. He is altogether lovely in His Incarnation.
3. His Withdrawal to War personally with Satan - His Temptation
Then He withdrew to personally fight with the devil. Jesus Christ did not need to fight with the devil. He could have destroyed him with one word from His lips but He chose for your sake and for my sake to enter into a personal combat with the devil in order to deliver you from his chains and break the power of cancelled sin, and set the prisoner free. If He is lovely in His Humiliation and lovely in His Incarnation He is most lovely in His Temptation. Think of it, the Eternal Son of God humiliating Himself to be tempted of the devil. To stand up to the slanders of hell, what for? For you and for me. Help me to understand it. Oh help me to take it in. What it meant for Thee the Holy One to bed away my sin. Yea, He is altogether lovely in His temptations.
4. His Withdrawal from Isolation with men - His Identification.
Then He withdrew Himself from His isolation from men and identified Himself with whom? With sinners. He identified Himself with sinners. He is lovely in His Humiliation, Incarnation, Temptation but He is more lovely in His Identification that this Man came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
The love that Jesus had for me is more than tongue can tell. He came for sinners, as the old Puritan said, there is only one qualification for salvation and this is to know that you are an old rotten, hell-deserving sinner. When you know that, the Lord can save you. He cannot save church people or baptised people or nice people or moral people or good people but He can save rotten sinners that are only for the darkness of the damned. Oh He is altogether lovely when He kneels down beside the man that has been overcome by thieves on the road to Jericho. When He takes his hand and puts it to the man's aching body and brings solace to that poor, afflicted soul. Yea, He is altogether lovely in His identification.
5. His Withdrawal to Suffering and Death - His Propitiation
Then, of course, He withdrew Himself from suffering. God cannot suffer. God cannot be pained by anything. God lives in an unsuffering world. Why? Because He is sovereign. If pain could touch God then God would cease to be God. Pain cannot touch God but in order to bear our pain he withdrew Himself from separation from suffering and He said to His Father, "I will suffer, I will suffer in my humanity. I cannot suffer as God but will suffer as the Godman and I will tie my deity to my humanity and as the Godman I will hang upon the cross." Oh the wonder of His propitiation at yon tree on dark Calvary Jesus Christ bore every pain a human body could bear in order to save me. He was marred more than any other man and more than any sons of men. Blessed Jesus.
As Rutherford said, I like Him in every garment He wears but I love Him most in the red vest of Calvary. That is the robe that He is going to wear when He comes back, the vesture dipped in blood. Yes, He is altogether lovely in His propitiation.
6. His Withdrawal from the Tomb - His Resurrection
Thank God, He withdrew from the tomb, hallelujah! Death could not hold Him. The power of the devil could not hold Him. The power of the evil could not hold Him. The power of suffering could not hold Him and the power of death. What happened at Calvary? Death died at Calvary and Jesus is alive for evermore. He has got the keys.
I used to long, when I was in prison, to get the keys and get out but I never got them. I want to tell you the Lord Jesus has the keys. I would not like to have the keys because I could lose them or someone greater than I could take them from me. No one will take the keys from Jesus, He has got the keys. The Pope is the antichrist, he wears two keys in his girdle and they fit no lock and could open no door at all. Thank God, they keys my Jesus has have shut the door of hell against me forever and opened the door of heaven for me forever. He is altogether lovely in His Resurrection splendour.
7. His Withdrawal from Solitariness - His Unification
There is one final thing, and perhaps it is the greatest thought of all, Christ withdrew from ever from solitary glory.
You see, He had solitary glory with His Father in eternity and that is passed but it is not going to be solitary glory in heaven. It is going to be glory with you and with me. He says to His Father "I want you to bring these people in that they can share my glory". To sit down with Christ in heaven!
A man said to me, sometime ago, "You may only see Jesus for a few minutes when you get to heaven as there will be so many there." I said, "Silly, man, I am going to sit with Him for all eternity".
We are going to sit on His throne, we are heirs. There are no degrees of citizenship in heaven where people get to the front row. No we will be in the front row. We will all be in the front seat because we are going to sit with Christ in heaven. You say, "How can that be?" Anything can be with the God we have. A God that can save sinners can bring them into the depths of His fellowship. Our unification with Christ. Yea He is altogether lovely in His Unification.