For the Joy That Was Set Before Him

“How much better is thy love than wine!” – Song of Songs 4:10

“How much better is thy love than wine!” Now wine when used in Scripture, frequently signifies two things, a great luxury, and a great refreshment. Jesus Christ looks upon His people’s love as being a luxury to Him. When He sat at the feast of Simon the Pharisee, I have no doubt there were sparkling wine cups on the table, and many rich dainties were there, but Jesus Christ did not care for the wine, nor for the banquet. That poor woman’s love was much better to Him than wine…Now, our Saviour has often been refreshed by His people’s love. You remember once He was weary and thirsty, and sat upon the well of Samaria. He needed wine then indeed to refresh Him, but He could not get so much as a drop of water. He spoke to a woman whom He had loved from before all worlds; He put new life into her, and she at once desired to give Him drink; but she ran away first to tell to the Samaritans what she had heard. Now the Saviour was so delighted at her wishing to do good, that when His disciples came, they expected to find Him fainting, for He had walked many a weary mile that day, so they said, “Whence hath He meat?” and He said, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” It was that woman’s love that had fed Him. He had broken her heart, He had won her to Himself, and when He saw the tear roll from her eye, and knew that her heart was set upon Him, His spirits all revived, and His poor flagging strength grew strong. It was this that encouraged Him. Nay, I will go farther. When Christ went to His cross there was one thing that cheered Him even in the agonies of death, it was the thought of His people’s love. Are we not told by the apostle Paul in the Hebrews, that our blessed and divine Husband, the Lord Jesus, “for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame?” Jesus was cheered, even in His death agonies, by the thought of the love of His people. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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