“I have exalted one chosen out of the people.”
Christ was chosen out of the people—that He might know our wants and sympathize with us. You know the old tale—that one half the world does not know how the other half lives—and that is very true. I believe some of the rich have no notion whatever of what the distress of the poor is. They have no idea of what it is to labor for their daily food. They have a very faint conception of what a rise in the price of bread means. They do not know anything about it. And when we put men in power who never were of the people, they do not understand the art of governing us.
But our great and glorious Jesus Christ is One chosen out of the people and therefore He knows our wants. Temptation and pain He suffered before us. Sickness He endured, for when hanging upon the Cross, the scorching of that broiling sun brought on a burning fever. Weariness—He has endured it, for weary He sat by the well. Poverty—He knows it, for sometimes He had not bread to eat, except that bread of which the world knows nothing. To be houseless—He knew it,for the foxes had holes and the birds of the air had nests, but He had not where to lay His head.
My brother Christian, there is no place where you can go where Christ has not been before you, sinful places alone excepted. In the dark valley of the shadow of death you may see His bloody footsteps—footprints marked with gore. Yes,and even at the deep waters of the swelling Jordan, you shall, when you come hard by the side, say, “There are the footprints of a Man—whose are they?” Stooping down, you shall discern a nail-mark and shall say, “Those are the footsteps of the blessed Jesus.”
He has been before you. He has smoothed the way. He has entered the grave, that He might make the tomb the royal bedchamber of the ransomed race—the closet where they lay aside the garments of labor, to put on the vestments of eternal rest. In all places, wherever we go, the Angel of the Covenant has been our forerunner. Each burden we have to carry has once been laid on the shoulders of Immanuel—
“His way was much rougher and darker than mine.
Did Christ my Lord suffer and shall I repine?”
I am speaking to those in great trial. Dear fellow-traveler! Take courage—Christ has consecrated the road and made the narrow way the King’s own road to life.