Christ, the Restorer
by William Nicholson, 1862
"Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal." Psalm 69:4
Tins Psalm is descriptive of the sufferings and death of the Redeemer. He is represented as speaking of himself as almost overwhelmed in sorrow and suffering. In this verse he complains to his Father of the hatred and malice of his numerous foes. The Jews, the Romans, and the spirits of darkness, were like a numerous herd of ravenous wolves surrounding the Lamb of God, thirsting after his blood, which at length they shed. And thus the only innocent person in the world made satisfaction for transgressors.
I. A Robbery Implied."I am forced to restore what I did not steal."
Robbery has been committed. Someone has been deprived of that which the Savior restored.
God and man have been robbed.
It appears from Genesis 3:1-6, that this robbery was committed by Satan, who is called a murderer and a liar from the beginning, John 8:44.
Man was created by Jehovah, who stamped upon him his image, and made him happy, and pronounced him very good.
1. God was robbed.
(1.) God was robbed of his glory. His glory was seen in man's purity — in man's intelligence — in his resemblance to God, made after his own image. All this Satan reversed.
(2.) God was robbed of man's affections and obedience. The beneficence of the Creator, was man's motive to love and obey him. But he yielded his affections to Satan.
A greater honor could not have been conferred upon Satan than for our first parents to believe what he said in preference to what the God of truth said.
2. Man was robbed. Man, though created perfectly holy, was mutable. He had power sufficient to preserve his innocence, but was liable to fall. His fall was voluntary. Satan could not force his will. He might have resisted, and maintained his integrity.
1. Man was robbed of his purity. His soul became depraved; full of evil passions and lusts. Genesis 6:5; Romans 1.
2. Man was robbed of communion with God. 1 Corinthians 6:11.
3. Man was robbed of holy intelligence. The understanding is now darkened. Ephesians 4:18.
4. Man was robbed of holy freedom. He became a slave to sin, a transgressor, condemned, and exposed to the wrath of God.
5. Man was robbed of happiness, as connected with purity, etc.
6. Man was robbed of paradise. He was expelled — and lost the hope of Heaven. He became subject to natural death. Such is the abject state of man — robbed of life — natural life — spiritual life — eternal life. Paradise lost!
II. The Restoration."I am forced to restore what I did not steal."
That is, by my suffering and death, and the gift of my Spirit — I restored that image of God, and the Divine favor which I took not away. I magnified the law and made it honorable by becoming the Surety of man.
To restore, means to place again in the first state or condition, Isaiah 1:26; Acts 1:6; also to make restitution, or satisfaction for injuries inflicted. Christ may be called the Repairer, etc. Isaiah 58:12.
1. Christ is the Restorer. He was qualified by his Divinity — his humanity — his perfect purity — his perfect conformity to the law. He never transgressed the law. "I am forced to restore what I did not steal." Hebrews 7:26.
2. He was prompted to restore by infinite love. He was a voluntary sacrifice. John 10:17, 18.
3. He restored by his sufferings and death, which were vicarious. He obeyed the law, endured its penalty, and became the victim of its curse as man's Surety. God's government was honored — the claims of Divine justice were satisfied. His sacrifice was an offering, etc. Ephesians 5:2.
Thus he restores to God, that which he took not away, and to man he restores:
(1.) Righteousness, in state, and in heart. He is pardoned and justified. He is regenerated — made holy.
(2.) The Divine Favor. God through Christ, smiles upon him. He adopts him — communes with him, etc.
(3.) Spiritual understanding. 2 Corinthians 4:6.
(4.) Spiritual happiness; arising from being saved; from holy exercises, and blissful anticipations.
(5.) Paradise. The Heavenly Inheritance. Paradise regained! Body and soul will be restored from the ravages of sin, and be introduced to that glorious Eden, to sin and die no more.
Finally. This restoration can be realized by faith alone.