‘I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.’
The question appropriately suggests itself: How was this prophecy fulfilled? How was God ‘a Father’ to Christ?—how was Christ ‘a Son’ to God? I shall only suggest one or two lines of thought.
I. God had it, in His eternal purpose, to give exceeding glory to His Son.—Let us never forget that, in tracing the life of Christ from the cradle to the grave. It is the clue to all. There was a far design to make Christ infinitely happy; happier than He could have been had He never passed His sad life upon this earth.
II. But see how God dealt with Him.—He humbled him in the very dust. ‘It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.’ And this, this was the way in which God fulfilled His great undertaking to His own Son: ‘I will be to Him a Father.’ But the Cross led to the Crown.
III. And now the other side. How was Christ a Son?—For ever it was in His heart to do His Father’s will. How willing! ‘Lo, I come!’ He set His face as a flint, and was not ashamed. Never, never did He turn back! From a little child, He ‘must be about His Father’s business.’ He, who might, at any moment, have called for ‘more than twelve legions of angels,’ never raised one look to avert one duty or to escape one pain! With that Father—while He was smiting Him—He always was in the closest communion. Into that Father’s ear He poured all His sorrows; and never, for an instant, mistrusted Him.
IV. There is yet one more deep meaning lying in these words.—The whole mystery of our salvation is wrapped up in it. When Christ was born, this day, He was born not a Son only, but a Representative Son. God sees all believers in that ‘Holy Child Jesus.’ There is not one birth only. As Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He is born in humble hearts. And then what God is to Christ, He is to them. Therefore, to every one of us, by virtue of our union to Christ, God says it even as He says it to Jesus, ‘I will be to you a Father.’