Chapter Two: The Greatness of the Love of Christ is Displayed in the Unparalleled Broadness of its Essential Nature
The love of Christ is unique in that it is all the love of his infinite and divine nature; and it is also the tender and empathetic love of the true humanity he assumed for our sakes. There is no other love like this, nor could there ever be another such love from anyone, for there is no other god to love with infinite magnitude, and no other person of the triune godhead to take on flesh; and he, having assumed our nature, embraced it forever, with an incarnation that can never be repeated, but which will last for all eternity.
Oh, how necessary both of these aspects of the love of Christ are for us! If his love did not have divine power and authority, it would be impotent to help us, for our plight is infinite and it is impossible except by all the power of God that we should be saved. Many times, we as mere humans will love someone and not be able to help him, because the good thing our limited love desires for him is beyond our ability to obtain. A mother, for instance, may love her son and would willingly give up her own life to save him from trouble, but she cannot prevent him from pursuing wickedness and being brought to grief. But with Jesus, the boundless love which desires all things good for us is joined with the power of true deity, so that he cannot be stopped in his design for our good, even though an infinite mass of sin is piled up against it to prevent his good designs, yes, and though the infinite majesty and honor of God has been offended by us, and though infinite holiness cannot stand to look upon us, and infinite justice cries out against us, and a law infinitely implacable will not yield to our pleas; still, in the face of these thousand and more impossibilities, Jesus' love laughs at all obstacles, and proceeds to do the impossible, because his power is as great as his love.
But the most powerful love in the world would have no way to enter our hearts and comfort us if it were not also adapted to our trembling weakness; and so, Jesus wrapped up his love in true human flesh for us, so that he could love us both with divine power and with human sympathy. Who is more approachable than Jesus became for us, whose yoke is easier to bear (Mat. 11:29-30), who can understand more fully our weaknesses and diseases that he himself bore (Mat. 8:17), our sins that he took upon himself (1 Pet. 2:24), our temptations that he withstood alone (Mat. 4:1-11)? Even in our greatest human loves, we sometimes find things in the depths of our hearts that our loved ones do not understand, have not experienced, and cannot empathize with. But Jesus knows our downsitting and uprising, he knows us altogether (Psalm 139); he knows what our blackest sin is like, because he bore it upon the cross, and rose up to love us still. We often think, if my mother or father or spouse or close friend could but glimpse the depths of my evil heart, they would recoil in horror â€“ but Jesus has searched out all those depths of iniquity which we cannot even know ourselves (Jer. 17:9), he has borne those things in himself, and still he loves. As our sympathetic High Priest, he remembers we are dust, he is familiarly acquainted with all our sorrows and struggles, and he bears them all with us (see Hebrews 4:15; Psalm 103:14).
1. Christ Loves us Infinitely and Empathetically
Because the love of Christ for us has its source in the illimitable nature of the godhead, he can love us infinitely. This is why Paul invites us to explore in every direction, seeking out the breadth and length and height and depth, and knows that we will never find an end no matter which direction we pursue. To find an end to his love would mean that we had drained his divine nature, which is utterly impossible, for God is â€œinfinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truthâ€ (from Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 4). If we can find an end to the infinite God, only then will we find an end to Christ's infinite love for the Church.
Consider how well this is for us: if Christ were only human, no matter how good and perfect he was as a man, we would soon have drained his love dry, for there would have been some end to it, according to the limits of his human nature. But certainly, that end would have been found long before now, even in his ministry on earth, when the crowds ceaselessly thronged him, and gave him no rest! And even if he had forborne loving them in order to love you exclusively, you still would have found an end to his love, for you needed a love of infinite magnitude to save you from your infinite helplessness, your infinite obligation to satisfy the infinite wrath of God and merit the reward of infinitely minute and perfect obedience to an infinitely holy Law. The best man in the world could love you and yet run to an end of his love when it required so much of him, unless it were also joined to some unending reserve, which in Christ it is, for in his human love of us he always draws upon his infinite divine nature.
But Christ could love us infinitely and still have no way of connecting us to those infinite reserves of compassion, unless he also had a human nature, and could love us as one of us. But because he took on human flesh, he can now love us not just with divine magnitude, but also with perfect empathy. Consider how empathetic the love of Christ is for us: for he understands experientially what it is to be human, having taken on human flesh and lived a full human life. He knows what it is to grow and study as a human, and to be subject to his parents, and to apply his human mind vigorously to the understanding and application of the Law of God (Luke 2:39-52). He knows what it is to hunger and thirst and grow weary (Mat. 4:2; John 4:6; 19:28). He knows what it is like to be overwhelmed with the cares of ministry, and to spend sleepless nights praying to the Father for strength to continue. He knows what it is to be poverty-stricken, homeless, despised and rejected, lied about, and persecuted without a cause. Yes, beyond all this, he knows what it is like to be tempted with every kind of sin (Heb. 4:15). And although he never succumbed to temptation, yet still he knows, even beyond what the vilest wretch in hell may understand, what it is like to be guilty, what it means to bear sin in his heart, what awful tortures are involved in God's holy punishment against sin. He knows all these things, human things which discourage and terrify us, and from which we long for someone to love us and give us relief.
But not only does Jesus know intimately and sympathetically every problem that we have or troubling situation we may face, whether from weakness, disease, unjust persecution, the burden of sin, terror of the just consequences of our guilt, and so on; he also knows us who struggle with all these things, more perfectly and intimately than we know ourselves. Whatever relations of human intimacy there are, however it is possible for humans to know one another deeply, Jesus has assumed all those relationships with his Church. What love is there like that between a man and his wife, who become one flesh before God? But Jesus is the Bridegroom of his Church (John 3:28-30; Eph. 5:22-33; Psalm 45; Song of Solomon), and is one body and spirit with her. How deeply and closely do brothers love each other? But Jesus is our firstborn brother (Rom. 8:29; Heb. 2:11-14). Some few humans have likewise found that rare friend who is even closer than a brother to them; but Jesus is to us as David was to Jonathan, who loved Jonathan with a love surpassing that of women, who found in him a friend far better than a brother (2 Sam. 1:26). Jesus is to us the friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). How familiar is his love, and yet for all that, it is infinite, because Jesus is not only human, he is not only our friend and bridegroom and elder brother, he is also God.
2. Christ Loves Us By Condescending to Us in Our Misery and Raising Us Up to His Glory
The love of Christ for us may be seen to be uniquely broad in his infinite condescension to us and his raising us up to infinite heights. Consider how Christ condescended to us in love: first of all, he took a human nature, when he was the Creator and Lord of humanity, and infinitely above us; so, even in the incarnation he humbled himself infinitely, with a love unique to himself alone, as the only God-Man. But then, he condescended even further, by descending not to the righteous and worthy among men, but even to us sinners. He did not consort with the scribes and Pharisees who prided themselves on their righteousness, but he ate with sinners and tax collectors, prostitutes and thieves, yes, and persecutors of the Church and blasphemers too (Mat. 9:9-13; Luke 19:5-10; 1 Tim. 1:12-16). But not only did he descend to us in our lowly nature; and not only did he descend to us in our sinfulness; but he also descended to us in our final estate down to which that sin would carry us, namely, exile from the Father. So far did Christ condescend to us in our misery, in such a love as could never be reduplicated!
But Jesus did not just love us with infinite condescension; he also raised us up to infinite heights of glory by his love. We were dead and in exile from God, and Jesus came down to death and exile to find us; but he did not just leave us there, he lead captivity captive, and brought us up in a triumphal march to the right hand of the Father (Eph. 4:8-10; Psalm 68:18). His love has lifted us high above the domain of Satan (Col. 1:13); it has set us at the right hand of the Father, so that our life is now hidden with Christ on high (Col. 3:1-4), and we are now citizens of heaven and the New Jerusalem (Gal. 4:26; Phil. 3:20). From infinite depths has Christ's love raised us to infinite heights, so that we are loved with a double-infinity, which could be expressed in no other One than Jesus the God-Man.
3. Christ Loves Us By Suffering Infinite Divine Wrath As a Perfect Human Sacrifice
When theologians speak of the passive obedience of Christ, they mean that obedience by which he willingly offered himself up to the Father as an offering for our sins, suffering the curse of the Law that we had deserved and the infinite wrath by which that curse is expressed. But if his love had not been uniquely broad, he would not have been able to do this. If Christ had not been truly human, he would not have been an acceptable substitute; for it was a man that first rebelled against God, and it was a man whose blood must therefore be shed (see Gen. 9:6). And not only must he be a man, but he must also be a man born into subjection to the offended Law of God; and hence, he was born of the Seed of Abraham, and was subject to the Law of Moses (cf. Gal. 4:4-5); for it would not have been fitting for him to suffer the curse of the Law if he had no legal obligation to obey it. Then again, he not only had to be a human, born under the Law; but he also had to be born in such a station as to be qualified to represent the people, and be a federal head to them. Thus, he was born of the line of David, who represented the people to God as their King and head; but even more importantly, he was born of the seed of the woman, and had no human father; and this was important because, he had to be the only person not legally represented by Adam our first father. Adam represented all his seed, and when he fell, we were all condemned with him; but Jesus, as he was made of the seed of woman by the power of the Holy Spirit, was not legally represented by Adam, and hence became the second and final federal representative, and was free to accept the terms of the Covenant of Works on behalf of his people (see Romans 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22). So then, to rescue us from our condition, Jesus had to be born a true human; a seed of the woman but not legally of Adam; a seed of Abraham; and a seed of David; and in his birth as a human, Jesus precisely fulfilled all these conditions.
But simply being human was not enough to accomplish this passive obedience: for the penalty of the Law was eternal human death, and thus it would take an eternity for any mere human to fulfill it. Furthermore, the Law brought down infinite and divine wrath, and thus could not be fully contained in a finite vessel of humanity. But Christ, being truly human and perfectly fitted to be a human representative, was also divine, and thus able to swallow up the fullness of eternal death in his human nature, joined as it was to the infinite divine nature of his deity. He was able to absorb and drink down the infinite wrath of God, as he was very God, and infinite in himself. And as God, he alone among humans had life in himself (John 5:21, 26), yes, he was very life of very life, he was the Way the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), and thus, by virtue of the infinite Life he had in himself by his divine nature, he was able to overcome eternal death, and give life to all who were distressed by it (Hebrews 2:14-15).
4. Christ Loves Us by Submitting to All God's Law and Winning a Perfect Righteousness for Us
Not only did Jesus need to be truly human and truly divine in order to accomplish by his passive obedience all that we needed to be freed from the curse of the Law and delivered from the threat of eternal wrath and punishment; he also needed to be both human and divine to accomplish actively all that we needed of infinite merit, perfect obedience, and the eternal reward promised for flawless obedience to all God's Law.
Jesus needed to be truly human in order to merit the blessings of life and his own favorable presence that God had first promised to Adam in the Garden; for the commandment had been given to a human, the reward had been promised to a human, and it was a human alone that could both fulfill the requirement and accept the reward. Furthermore, Jesus already had infinite merit in the eyes of the Father because of his divine nature, and so he was well-pleased with his Son from eternity past; but if he already had perfect favor with the Father, how might he increase in favor, and so find more favor than the infinite favor he already had, that he might give it to his people? The answer comes in the Son of God's becoming a true Son of Man, so that he might fulfill all righteousness, and earn the eternal reward as a human; and not only did he have to be a Son of Man, to win back Paradise lost; but he also had to be born of Jewish stock, and thus come to be under the Covenant of Works as it was reiterated on Mount Sinai; for God's people to a man were obligated under this republished Covenant, and it was impossible that they should find freedom unless its demands were met. So Jesus became a man that he might merit the reward promised to Adam, and merit all the covenant blessings with which Moses motivated the people of God (Deut. 27-30). In doing this, he displayed the image of God perfectly and fulfilled the Law of God exhaustively as a man, and thus grew in favor with God as a man (Luke 2:52). Hence, he who already had infinite merit in the eyes of God gained more merit, to an equally infinite degree, and in particular a merit which was appropriate for us and which we could offer up in confidence to the Father as a plea for infinite rewards.
But for this, as well, Jesus needed to be divine: for if Adam had proved insufficient to fulfill even that one commandment not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then how could any man fulfill the weightier manifold commands of the Law? And when Adam fell being surrounded by every good and pleasant gift, and the enjoyment of the very presence of God, what mere man could be strong enough to overcome the fiercest temptations of the Serpent when surrounded by desert and famished with hunger? And besides, as the Law required ultimately the perfect love of God, who is infinite, what love of him could be satisfactory but an infinite love, coming from a true human? But Jesus submitted to God's Law entirely and obeyed him perfectly; and he loved him with an infinite and yet a human love, because his human nature was joined to his infinite divine nature; and thus he merited for us the infinite rewards that his infinite love of and obedience toward the Father deserve, and which can be applied to us because it was a human love and obedience, and thus deserved a human reward.
5. Christ Loves Us by Bringing the Unique and Wonderful Love of the Persons of the Trinity to Us in Our Human Condition
It is true, as we have already seen, that each Person of the holy Trinity loves us uniquely and wonderfully; but that love could never have reached us without the unique love of Christ to bridge the gap between the human and the divine. First of all, we see that the Father loved us from all eternity, even when we were unlovely and sinners: and hence he had an undeserved love of benevolence for us. But so great was that love that it wanted to make us lovely, and produce in us worthy cause of receiving it. In other words, the Father, having loved us with sheer benevolence, desired to make us of such a sort that he could likewise love us complacently. He loved us when we were unlovely with such a love that he had to act upon us in our unloveliness; but he acted upon us so that he might make us lovely, and thus rest in us with a love that was satisfied in our loveliness. He loved us and was jealous over us and acted mightily in human history; but his actions having accomplished their purpose, henceforth he rested in his love of us, just as he had acted to create the universe, and then rested in its very good accomplishment. Thus the prophet predicts of him, â€œHe will rest in his love, he will joy over you with singingâ€ (Zeph. 3:17); this is not the love of benevolence for a sinner, but the love of complacency for a beautiful and spotless saint.
But it is only Jesus who could have turned the Father's love of benevolence for us into a love of complacency; and he did this by removing every obstacle to a complacent love, viz., every sin and stain and guilt and transgression; and then by providing everything positive that would merit such a love, viz., every righteousness and grace and lovely thing in which God delights. He did this by the cross, and it was utterly impossible that it should have been done in any other way. So then, Jesus' taking on human flesh was necessary to bridge the gap between the human and the divine, so that the divine love of the Father might rest upon us with perfect complacency.
But likewise Jesus had to mediate the love of the Spirit to us, by becoming human even as he remained divine. For if the greatest gift of the Father to us is his Son, so the greatest gift of the Son to us is his Spirit â€“ although, it could be said with equal truth that the Father himself gave us the Spirit, and that when he gave us the Son, then the gift of the Spirit was already implied as the only way by which we might be joined to the Son and enabled to receive him. But for this greatest gospel gift of the Spirit, Jesus also had to be human and divine. As God, the Spirit was his. He was perfectly and eternally joined to him in a fellowship of love, and thus the Spirit was his to give. But then, when he became a man, he was given the Spirit as a man, and thus was uniquely fitted to give the Spirit to other men. So important was his reception of the Spirit as a man, that it was this very reception of, or anointing with the Spirit that gave him his greatest title in his redemptive work: the â€œChrist,â€ or else, the â€œMessiah,â€ both of which words mean simply, the â€œAnointed One,â€ and speak of how the Christ should be anointed with the Holy Spirit to do his redemptive work. This is what the prophets predicted of him (Isa. 61:1-2); and this is indeed what happened, the man Jesus being anointed with the Spirit at his baptism (Mat. 3:16-17). And then, since the Spirit was his as a human, he was able to give him to other humans, which he did, breathing on his disciples and saying, â€œReceive the Holy Spiritâ€ (John 20:22). Furthermore, he promised to send us the Spirit from the Father (Mat. 3:11; Acts 1:8), which he did on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and has ever after been doing with all his saints, anointing them with the Spirit just as he had been anointed with the Spirit. This is utterly crucial for our salvation, for we could never be joined to Christ apart from the Spirit which he has freely poured out upon us; and if we were not joined to Christ, there would be no salvation. But this could never have happened if he who is divine did not also become human, so that he might send the gift of the Spirit from the divine Father to his human Church.
6. Christ Loves Us with Unparalleled Broadness in His Threefold Redemptive Office
In order to redeem us, Christ entered into the threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King; but in no one of these offices would he have been sufficient to fulfill its functions if he had not been both God and Man, and thus able to love us with unparalleled broadness. For all of these offices are offices of a Mediator, that is, of one who goes between two different parties, and represents one to the other; for a prophet takes the words of God and gives them to another party; a priest brings the sin offerings of the people into the Holy of holies where God dwells, and brings back the blessing of God to them; and the King reigns under God over his creation and his people, and represents those people to God, just as man had originally been designed to do in the Garden of Eden (See Gen. 1:26-28). So in all these offices, there was required a Mediator between God and man. And â€œthere is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesusâ€ (1 Tim. 2:5).
Jesus is perfectly suited to be our Prophet, because he knows the will of God more perfectly than any prophet who came before him, he came down from the very bosom of the Father (John 1:18), he possessed all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3), and thus was able more perfectly to reveal him whom no one else, not even Moses, had ever truly seen. Likewise, he was more perfectly suited to be our Prophet because, as he is divine, he is infinitely powerful to make us willing to receive his perfect revelation of God. The prophet Moses was only able to bring down the will of God written on stone; but Jesus wrote the perfect will of God on our hearts, by the power of the Spirit (see 2 Cor. 3), he made us to walk in his statutes (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:25-27), he was able to grant what he proclaimed.
But not only was his divine power and knowledge necessary; it was also necessary for him to be human. The knowledge of God and the sight of him overwhelm men who are weak by nature â€“ and how much more men who are sinful and stand in desert of his terrifying wrath? But Jesus wrapped up all his immense knowledge of God in a form that was not overpowering, but one that was natural and amenable to us. How meek and unterrifying is Jesus when he stands calling out to us to grant us his divine wisdom (Mat. 11:28-30)! He stretches out his lovely and powerful arms, he describes the great feast his love has prepared for us (Prov. 9:1-6), and because he is so lowly and easy to come to, men are not afraid of him, but instead they scorn and mock him, and turn away (Prov. 1:20-33)! So you may see how lowly and gentle a form he has wrapped up the terrible knowledge of the Almighty God in; so that, if we are granted but a glimpse of how truly pleasing and delightful his wisdom is, as those who scorned him never were, we have nothing to dissuade us from running to him at once for this wisdom, for he offers his divine knowledge with a humble human invitation.
Similarly, Jesus is perfectly fitted to love us in his capacity as our High Priest by virtue of the unparalleled broadness of his redemptive love. For the priest exists to come to the people, who have offended a holy God and are in dread of him, and bring them back to his presence, eliminating every obstacle in the way of his doing so. But Jesus is better able to do this than any of the priests before him, because, as God, he had a more intimate and familiar access to God than any priest before him, all of whom could only enter the Holy of holies once every year. Because of his eternal, divine nature, he lives forever to intercede for his people, whereas all who were before him died; and he is likewise strong to save them to the uttermost, because of all his divine power (see Hebrews 7:23-25).
But Jesus was only able to accomplish a perfect priestly plea by taking the body that the Father had prepared for him, and thus becoming human (Hebrews 10:4-10). And also, his humanity gave him access to his people which was just as intimate as his access to the Father, so that, in himself, he could utterly and perfectly reconcile them. This he did, offering himself up as a perfect human sacrifice for their sins, pleading for them as a perfect human representative, and bringing them through the veil of his flesh into the Holiest Place (Hebrews 10:19-20), where they have access with boldness to God the Father such as no saint had ever obtained before him (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Jesus is also perfectly fitted to be our King; for he is divine, and has omnipotence and infinite authority; and he also became man, to reign as God's image over all creation (Heb. 2:5-9; Psalm 8:4-6). But not only did he become a man, and so perfectly suited to fulfill God's original dominion mandate to mankind; but he also became our brother, in order to fulfill the word he spoke by Moses, that God would raise up a king for us from among our brothers (Deut. 17:14-20). When he was made human, he became lowly and did not exalt himself above his brothers; he was studious in the Law of God, and indeed, he wrote out this Law as its original author, and not just as a copyist, like the kings of Israel were all commanded to do; and so far was he from multiplying to himself horses and wives and gold and silver, that he walked upon his own land as a desolate and homeless wanderer!
Furthermore, Jesus was of the seed of David, and hence, as a human, uniquely authorized to fulfill God's promise of an heir that would reign over his people forever (2 Sam. 7:12-14; Isa. 9:6-7). And then, like David, he was not a harsh tyrant, but rather a Shepherd and Protector of his people. David put himself at risk to deliver his poor sheep from the mouth of the Lion (1 Sam. 17:34-37); but Jesus gave up his life to deliver us from sin and death (John 10:1-18; 1 Pet. 5:4)! So, because Jesus is both divine and human, he is able to show to us a uniquely broad love in the discharge of his office as our King.
7. Christ Loves Us with Unparalleled Broadness by Entering Into the Covenant of Grace with Us
The Covenant of Grace was a unilateral and sovereign covenant established by God, in which he bound himself to us as his people; and it was a covenant involving two parties, himself and mankind. By becoming man, Jesus was able to fulfill this covenant perfectly, and bring us together with God in an unrepeatable way.
First, because Jesus is God, it is he who sovereignly dictates to us the terms of his covenant, it is he who has bound himself to us, and it is he who exercises infinite patience and covenant faithfulness when we had failed. The hesed, or steadfast loyalty and covenant love of God, is properly a gift to us from God the Son himself; and in consequence of this self-binding of covenant love, Jesus bears with his people in all their sin and rebellion, and never forsakes them entirely, but makes his mercy toward them new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23).
As our God who initiates a relationship with us and condescends to us in our mean and sinful estate, Jesus binds himself by his very word to give to us all the rewards and promises that the Covenant of Grace entails. He also solemnly undertakes to do all that is necessary for the accomplishment of those rewards. Hence, he draws back the bow of vengeance against himself, as in his covenant with Noah (Gen. 9:12-17), and he walks alone through the severed animal halves, as in his covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15). This shows that all the responsibility for fulfilling the promises, and all the liability for any infraction of the stipulations, devolves upon himself as God.
But not only does Jesus sovereignly love us in covenant as God; he also loves us in covenant as man; for as man, he undertakes to be our covenant Head and Champion, and to represent us to God. The Covenant of Works said, â€œDo this and live!â€ (cf. Lev. 19:5); and Jesus as a man entered into the Covenant of Works, so that he could fulfill its obligations for us freely, which he does as a condition of his Covenant of Grace. The Covenant of Grace, then, is essentially like the Covenant of Works, with the one added proviso that God himself would provide a Covenant Head â€“ no, that he would be the Covenant Head â€“ and fulfill all the terms that he himself had imposed, and so freely give out the rewards that perfect obedience merited. So then, as God, Jesus fulfilled his obligation to give us the promises made to Abraham and to suffer in himself the penalty for any violation; and as a man, he offered up to God his perfect fulfillment of all the covenant obligations, and his satisfaction for all the covenant curses, representing his people to the Father. This is unparalleled broadness of love, and it is only to be found in Jesus Christ, the God-Man!
8. The Unparalleled Broadness of Christ's Love for Us May Be Seen in His Statements in the Psalms
The New Testament authors and early Church fathers spoke with one consent that the Psalms were ultimately Christological. In them, very often the saints speak to Christ, or else about Christ, as when David looks ahead and seeing the resurrection of Christ proclaims, â€œYou will not let your Holy One see corruption!â€ (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:24-32); or else, â€œYour throne, O God, is forever and everâ€ (Psalm 45:6). Elsewhere, God the Father speaks to or about Christ, as when he tells him, â€œSit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstoolâ€ (Psalm 110:1); and â€œYou are my Son, today I have begotten youâ€ (Psalm 2:7). But very often, Christ himself speaks, either immediately or through the types of the psalmists, and most especially David; and when he speaks, we may see the broadness of his love; for he both speaks to us as our God, promising grace and guidance and many other such things, as, for instance, when he promises, â€œI will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eyeâ€ (Psalm 32:8); but also, he speaks to God in our behalf, as one of us, representing to God his perfect works as a human, and pleading on that basis for our salvation. Thus, he cries out, â€œMay integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. Redeem Israel, O God, out of his troublesâ€ (Psalm 25:21-22, ESV); and again, â€œjudge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteousâ€ (Psalm 7:8-9, ESV). In these places, and many others like them, he pleads for our redemption on the basis of his own uprightness. Likewise, in many places he tells God of his immense sufferings, as, for example, in Psalm 22, Psalm 88, and many such psalms beside. In this, he is showing us the broadness of his love, speaking to us as our God and Savior, and pleading to God for our salvation on the basis of his great sufferings and perfect righteousness. And we may add to the Psalms many other places as well where he speaks to us comfortably as both our God and our human Champion, as when he cries out with a free invitation to his feast of grace in Proverbs chapters eight through nine, or in the first verses of Isaiah chapter fifty-five, and other places too numerous to list.