The last sayings of those we love are not soon forgotten. These words form the conclusion of our Lord's valedictory to his disciples. They did not yet understand that the redemption of man was to be obtained by the death of their Master. When Christ was put to death, he descended to the lower parts of the earth, in order to raise up sinners; but their faith could not follow him into the deep. Nicholas Pisces sunk into the sea to raise a golden cup, but neither he nor the cup ever came up again. A man clothed in glass went down to prepare for raising the Royal George; the man came up, but the ship remains in the bottom. But our blessed Redeemer, clothed in humanity, descended to the deeps of death, and raised the church from the pit of perdition, and founded her upon a rock, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.
We would notice, first, the peace that is in Christ, in opposition to the tribulation that is in the world; and secondly, the victory of Christ over the world, as the source of comfort and joy to believers.
I. "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. I know what you will have in the world--mountains of tribulation--nothing but tribulation. I will put my peace in the other end of the scale."
Peace in Christ is "the peace of God which passeth all understanding" -an ocean sufficiently deep and large to swallow up millions of fiery mountains. See the awakened sinner, overwhelmed with the terrors of God. His inflexible justice and spotless holiness seem to him like a mountain of flame, which he cannot approach without being consumed. But the Holy Spirit shows him the reconciling blood of the cross. He sees the crucified God-man rising from the grave, and ascending on high, "to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins." Instantly the terrible mountain sinks and is lost in the sea of his Redeemer's merit. His faith has conquered his fears ...
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