The Giver of the Invitation
‘Come unto Me.’—MATT. xi. 28.
THIS is the Royal Invitation. For it is given by the King of kings. We are so familiar with the words, that we fail to realize them. May the Holy Spirit open our ear that we may hear the voice of our King in them,1 and that they may reach our souls with imperative power.” Then, ‘they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak.
‘Lord, to whom shall we go ? ‘* Not ‘to what shall we go.’ For the human heart within us craves a personal, living rest and refuge. No doctrines, however true; no systems, however perfect; nothing mental, moral, or spiritual, will do as the answer to this question of every soul that is not absolutely dead in trespasses and sins.5 As surely as you and I are persons, individualities, real separate existences, so surely must we have a Person, no less real and individual, to whom to go in our more or less conscious need of salvation. And so the great word of Invitation, Royal and Divine, is given to us, ‘ Come unto Me’
1 John X 27. 2 I Thess. i. 5. S Isa. lii. 6.
* John vi. 68. 6 Eph. ii. i.
‘Unto Me.’ Just think what that one word means! Seek out all the great and wonderful titles of Christ for yourself, and write after each one—’And He says, Come unto Mel’ Unto Me, ‘the mighty God,” nothing less than that! ‘Mighty to save ” and ‘ready to save me.”
Then seek out all the exquisitely winning beauties of the character and words and ways of Him who went about doing good,* till you ‘have heard Him and observed Him ‘6 all through those years of patient and perfect ministry, and recollect all the time that it is He who says to you, ‘Come unto Me/’6 Unto Him, the man Christ Jesus,1 full of compassion, and tender yet royal grace.
Then look at the great central scene of the universe,—the central moment not of a world’s history only, but of eternity;—look at the Saviour, who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,8 bowing His bleeding head under that awful burden,9 because His faithfulness was unto the death,10 and His love was strong as death !11 ‘Behold your God,’1! and ‘Behold the Man,’13 who loved you and gave Himself for you;” hear His own touching call,’ I said, Behold Me, behold Me!’15 Look away from all the ‘other things,’ look at the Crucified One, and, as you gaze, remember that He says, ‘Come unto Me!’
1 Isa. ix. 6. 2 Isa. lxiii. 1. 3 Isa. xxxviii. 2o.
J Acts x. 38. 5 Hos. xiv. 8. « Matt. xx. 28.
7 1 Tim. i1. 5. 8 1 Pet. ii. 24. 9 Isa. liii. 6.
10 John xiii. 1. 11 Cant. viii. 6. I2 Isa. x\. 9.
IS John xix. 5. 14 Gal. ii. 20. 15 Isa. txv. 1.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by,1 that both from the depth of sorrow and from the height of glory this Royal Invitation comes to you?
For it is the call not only of Jesus Crucified, but of Jesus Reigning and Jesus Coming. ‘See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh,’2for He is coming to judge the quick and the dead.3 He is reigning now, and there are no neutrals in His kingdom.4 All are either willing and loyal subjects, or actual rebels,— those who have obeyed the King’s call, and come, and those who have ‘made light of it,” and not come.
Which are you?
Think of the day when the great white throne is set,6 and when the Son of man shall come in His glory;7 when all will be gathered before Him, and He shall separate them one from another,8 and know that it is ‘ this same Jesus ” who now says to you, ‘Come unto Me’
Just as I am—without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come!
1 Lam. i. 12. 2 Heb. xii. 25. 3 Acts x. 42.
* Luke xi. 23. 5 Matt. xxii. 5. 6 Rev. xx. 11.
‘ Matt. XXV. 31. 8 Matt. xxv. 32. 9 Acts i. 11.