Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
I. "IT IS COME."
1. Pardon and salvation are come to sinful man: they that have long sat in the darkness of unatoned transgression, have now seen that true light which is given to be the guide of their feet along the paths of pleasantness, into the way of which peace is the beginning, and joy is the end. The message "is come," which alone can bind up the broken heart, and speak comfort to the troubled spirit.
2. Reconciliation with the Father "is come" for all but those who wilfully reject the means that His Son has given.
3. In the coming of the Son of Man upon earth, there is a special blessing come unto us. By His birth, as on this day, into the flesh, we are born again into the Spirit.
II. "IT IS DONE." The power of the tempter is once and forever subdued, his usurped dominion is done away. Not that in the great event this day before us, the whole scheme of redemption is brought to its full accomplishment: to perfect that scheme, greater things yet must come to pass. Not till the Saviour had died upon the Cross; and descended into the abodes of death; and raised Himself from the silent grave on the third day; and ascended with His reassumed body, to the place which He had ever occupied at the right hand of the Father; and from that high place had sent down the gifts of the promised Spirit "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry"; not till all this had come to pass, was the whole glorious scheme of man's redemption complete in all its full and free loving kindness. Yet may we still, on this beginning of joyful tidings which came to us even now, say with the Prophet in the spirit of joy and thankfulness, "It is done." From this event all the rest naturally and connectedly springs. Even among those who saw the promises from afar off, there was a sure word of prophecy; whereunto they did well that they took heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place. Ezekiel looked unto the promised redemption as clearly when he said, "Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day of which I have spoken"; as when the aged Simeon held the infant Jesus in his arms, and with abundant thankfulness exclaimed, "Lord, now lettest Thou," etc. Lessons —
1. He who came unto us as a little child, expects in every true follower of His, that mind of guileless simplicity which is the mind of little children. And then, as newborn babes, we are further to desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby.
2. Let us remember, in the midst of all our thankfulness for the great mercy of which this day is the celebration, to have some sobering and self-humbling thoughts. If it is fitting, on the one hand, that our hearts should be filled with joy, as we think upon His love to man, it is no less fitting, on the other hand, that we should remember the sin of man, which brought the Saviour from His throne on high.
3. Let us not think of the newborn King, and yet forget the "new commandment" which He gave unto us; that commandment was, that we should love one another, and it was a new commandment, because it placed Christian charity on a new and higher footing.
4. With all these glorious sayings, which in the services of this day are brought before us at one view, with all these still sounding in your ears, reflect continually on the great privileges that you enjoy, and the clear light of revelation, in the fulness of which you have your portion. And not only think of these things, but let me "beseech you," in the words of St. Paul, "that ye walk worthy of the vocation," etc.
(H. W. Sulivan, M. A.).