Monday, April 11, 2011

The Triumph of Love (John Howe)

I've been reading puritan John Howe's The Redeemer's Tears which is his reflection on Jesus' weeping outside of Jerusalem in Luke 19. Having journeyed to Jerusalem since the end of chapter 9, telling all his most famous gospel parables he arrives at the place of his necessary death and the sunrise of his resurrection that will send good news of forgiveness of sins to the world.

Howe invites us "remember that he who shed tears did from the same fountain of love and mercy shed blood too". 

Those tears shed for those who we past hope melt us while there is still hope for us. Jesus' tears "signify how very intent he is to save souls, and how gladly he would save yours, if yet you will accept his mercy while it can be had. He wept over those who will not be saved, from the same love that is the spring of these tears would saving mercies come to those who are willing to receive. The love that wept over those who were lost, glories in those who are saved.will glory in those who are saved. There his love was disappointed and vexed, but if we receive it how much will be rejoice over us with singing and rest in his love"

So, says Howe: "Rejoice and bless God that so it is. Christ, your Redeemer, rejoices with you and over you. If he weep over them, he no doubt, rejoices over you. There is joy in heaven concerning you. Angels rejoice, your glorious Redeemer presiding in the joyful consort...  How should you admire victorious grace, that would never desist from striving with you til it had overcome! You are the triumph of the Redeemer's conquering love, who might have been of his wrath and justice!" Endeavour that your spirits may taste, more and more, the sweetness of reconciliation, that you may more abound in joy and praises... How should you 'joy in God though Jesus Christ, by whom you have received the atonement!' ...Think how strange it is for the friends of God, the favourites of heaven, to be dismayed at the appearance of danger that threatens them from the inhabitants of the earth!"

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