GOD had made many visits to men before Christ’s Incarnation, but the most wonderful, visit of all was when He came to tarry here, some three and thirty years, to work out our salvation. What but “tender mercy “, hearty mercy, intense mercy, could bring the great God to visit us so closely that He actually assumed our nature? Kings may, for various reasons, visit their subjects; but they do not think of taking upon themselves their poverty, their sickness, or their sorrow. They could not if’ they would, and they would not if they could; but our Divine Lord, when He came hither, took upon Him our flesh.
O children,, the Lord so visited you as to become a Babe, and. then a Child, who dwelt with His parents, and was subject unto them, and grew in stature, as you must do! O working-men, the Lord so ‘visited you as to become the carpenter’s Son, and to know all about your ‘toil, and your weariness, ay, even to hunger and faintness! O sons of men, Jesus Christ has so visited you that He has assumed your nature, and taken your sicknesses, and borne your infirmities, and your iniquities, toot This was a kind of visit such as none could have thought of making save our infinitely tender and merciful Savior. Christ Jesus, the God-man, is our next of kin, a Brother born for adversity. In all our affliction He is afflicted; He is tenderness itself toward us.
He did not come to earth just to pay us a passing visit, but He dwelt among us in this world of sin and sorrow. This great Prince entered our abode — what if I call it this hut and hovel? — wherein our poor humanity finds its home for a season. This little planet of ours was made to burn with a superior light among its sister stars while the Creator sojourned here in human form. He trod the acres of Samaria, and traversed the hills and vales of Judaea. “He went about doing good.”
He mingled among men with scarcely any reservation. Although, through His purity, He was separate from sinners as to His character, yet He: was the visitor of all men. He was found eating bread with a Pharisee, which perhaps is a :more wonderful thing than when He. received sinners, and ate with them. A fallen woman was not too far gone in sin for Him to sit on the kerb of the well, and talk to her; nor were any of the poor and ignorant too mean for Him to care for them. His visit to us was of the most intimate kind. He disdained no man’s lowliness; He turned aside from no man, however sinful he might be.
But remember that He visited us, not merely to look upon us, and to talk with us, and to teach us, and set us a high and Divine example; but He so visited us that He took upon Himself our condemnation, that He might deliver us from. it. He was made a curse for us, as it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” He took our debts upon Him that He might pay them, minting His own heart to create the coinage. He gave Himself for us, which is more than if I said, “He gave His blood and His life for us;” His own self He gave for us.
So graciously did He visit us that He took: away with Him our ill, and left only good behind, He did not come into our nature, and yet keep Himself reserved from all the consequences of our sin; nor come into our world, and yet maintain a status superior to that of the usual denizens of it; but He carne to be a man among men, and to bear all that train of woes which had fallen upon human nature through its departure from the ways of God.
Our’ Lord so visited us as to become our Surety, our Substitute, our Ransom. He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. This was wonderful tender mercy on His part; it excels all human conception and language. If, for the first time, you had heard of the visit of the incarnate God to this world, you would be struck with a wonder which would last throughout all eternity, that God Himself should really condescend to such a deed as this. This is the heart of the Gospel, the incomparable fact of the Incarnation of the Son of Got, His dwelling upon the earth, and His presentation of Himself as a sacrifice unto God. Since God has visited us, not in the form of a judge executing vengeance, nor as an angel with a flaming sword, but in the gentle person of that lowliest of the lowly, who said, “Suffer the, little children to come unto Me,” we are herein made to see the tender mercy of our God. Nothing could be more gracious than the Divine appearance upon earth of the Man of sorrows.