Jesus answered . . . ‘So, if you seek me, let these men go.’John 18:8
Mark, my soul, the care that Jesus displayed even in His hour of trial toward his precious sheep! The ruling passion is strong in death. He resigns Himself to the enemy, but He interposes a word of power to set His disciples free. As to Himself, like a sheep before her shearers He is dumb and opens not His mouth, but for His disciples’ sake He speaks with almighty energy. Herein is love—constant, self-forgetting, faithful love. But is there not far more here than is immediately apparent? Do we not have the very soul and spirit of the atonement in these words?
The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep and pleads that they must therefore go free. The Surety is bound, and justice demands that those for whom He stands as substitute should go free. In the middle of Egypt’s bondage, the voice rang out with power, “Let these men go.” Out of slavery of sin and Satan the redeemed must come. In every cell of the dungeons of Despair, the sound is echoed, “Let these men go,” and out come Despondency and Fearful. Satan hears the well-known voice and lifts his foot from the neck of the fallen; and Death hears it, and the grave opens her gates to let the dead arise. These men go the way of progress, holiness, triumph, glory, and none shall dare to keep them from it. No lion shall hinder their progress, and no fierce opponent shall prevent them.
The Lord Jesus has drawn the cruel hunters upon Himself, making the most timid of His followers to discover perfect peace in His unbounded love. The thundercloud has burst over the cross of Calvary, and the pilgrims of Zion shall never be smitten by the bolts of vengeance.
Come, my heart, rejoice in the immunity that your Redeemer has secured for you, and bless His name all day and every day.