The Image Of

Jesus was the image of the invisible God. Col. 1: 15. The brightness of his glory and the express image of his person. Heb. 1: 3.

That is, in all his conduct, in every trait of his disposition, he was just like God, and did just what God would have done. How did he treat sinners? To the woman taken in adultery, he said, "Go, and sin no more". John 8: To Thomas, the skeptic, who refused to credit his resurrection, he showed the evidence of that great fact in his hands, his feet, and his side. John 20. To Peter, denying with oaths and curses that he had ever known him, he looks with pity and grief, and the heart of the false disciple is melted. John 18. To Saul, hating him and persecuting his followers, he sends no stroke of doom to annihilate him, but the opening heavens are radiant with light as he arrests the cruel persecutor with the unanswerable question, "Saul, Saul, why persecute you me?" Acts 9: 4. For those who nailed him to the cross his last breath is a prayer that they may be forgiven for their unparalleled crime. Luke 23: 34. Was it the prayer of faith, and will that prayer be answered? Christ was the friend of sinners in this world; is he their friend now? Will he always be their friend? If not, is he the same yesterday, to-day, and forever? As God's image he will always remain the loving friend of sinners, employing all possible means for their improvement and welfare. His whole life was in the same spirit. He invoked no vengeance, demanded no bloody sacrifice, either of the sinner or of a vicarious substitute, but pity, mildness, mercy and love went from him towards even the vilest of the vile. God must treat the skeptic, the profane, the cruel, the murderer, the wicked of every grade in the same manner, or the resemblance between image and original would be destroyed. Can God justify the resemblance to Christ, unless, though he punish, he continues to love, and employs all his infinite attributes, and all the ages of eternity if need be, in the blessed work of purifying and saving his children from the sins that alienate them from him? This was the work that always occupied

Jesus, that still occupies him as he sits at the right hand of the Father. As truly as Jesus is the image of God, the Father must always thus be employed, until the last exile from the home of the soul returns to allegiance, and duty, and heaven.

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