Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; my ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required.…
I. THE SWEEPING AWAY OF THE SHADOW.
1. When the Son of God is born into the world, there is an end of all types by which He was formerly prefigured. When the heart is gone out of the externals of worship, they are as shells without the kernel. Habitations without living tenants soon become desolations, and so do forms and ceremonies without their spiritual meaning. Toward the time of our Lord's coming, the outward worship of Judaism became more and more dead: it was time that it was buried.
2. As these outward things vanish, they go away with God's mark of non-esteem upon them: they are such things as He did not desire. The spiritual, the infinite, the almighty Jehovah could not desire merely outward ritual, however it might appear glorious to men. The sweetest music is not for His ear, nor the most splendid robes of priests for His eye. He desired something infinitely more precious than these, and He puts them away with this note of dissatisfaction.
3. They were so put away as never to be followed by the same kind of things. Shadows are not replaced by other shadows.
II. THE REVELATION OF THY SUBSTANCE.
1. The Lord Himself comes, even He who is all that these things foreshadowed.
(1) When He comes He has a prepared ear. The margin hath it, "Mine ears hast Thou digged." Our ears often need digging; for they are blocked up by sin. The passage to the heart seems to be sealed in the case of fallen man. But when the Saviour came, His ear was not as ours, but was attentive to the Divine voice.
(2) He came also with a prepared body (Hebrews 10:5).
2. He who assumed that body was existent before that body was prepared. He says, "A body hast Thou prepared me. Lo, I come." He from old eternity dwelt with God: the Word was in the beginning with God, and the Word was God. He was before all worlds, and was before He came into the world to dwell in His prepared body.
3. The human nature of Christ was taken on Him in order that He might be able to do for us that which God desired and required. An absolutely perfect righteousness He renders unto God; as the second Adam, He presents it for all whom He represents.
III. THE DECLARATION OF THE CHRIST MADE IN THE TEXT. "Lo, I come."
1. Observe when He says this. It is in the time of failure.
2. When our Lord comes, it is with the view of filling up the vacuum which had now been sorrowfully seen. He gives to man in reality what he had lost in the shadow.
3. When He appears, it is as the personal Lord — the Infinite Ego. Everything is stored up in His blessed person, and we are complete in Him.
4. Observe the joyful avowal that He makes. This is no dirge; I think I hear a silver trumpet ring out, "Lo, I come."
5. He comes with a word calling attention to it; for He is not ashamed to be made partaker of our flesh. Others have cried to you, "Lo, here! and Lo, there"; but Jesus looks on you, and cries, "Lo, I come." Look hither; turn all your thoughts this way, and behold your God in your nature ready to save you.
6. I hear in this declaration of the coming One a note of finality. He is the fulfilment of all the requirements of the human race, as well as the full amount of what God requires.
IV. THE REFERENCE TO PRECEDING WRITINGS. He says, "to, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me." If I preached from the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews, I might fairly declare that in the whole volume of Holy Scripture much is written of our Lord and prescribed for Him as Messiah. Preaching as I am from the Psalms, I cannot take so long a range. I must look back and find what was written in David's day, and within the Pentateuch certainly; and whore do I find it written concerning His coming? The Pentateuch drips with prophecies of Christ as a honeycomb overflowing with its honey.
V. THE DELIGHT OF HIM THAT COMETH.
1. He came in complete subserviency to His Father. Though high as the highest, tie stooped low as the lowest.
2. He had a prospective delight as to His work (Proverbs 8:31).
3. He had an actual delight in His coming among men. To Him it was joy to be in sorrow, and honour to be put to shame. Do you think that lightens our estimate of His self-denial and disinterestedness? Nay, it adds weight to it. Some people fancy that there is no credit in doing a thing unless you are miserable in doing it. Nay, that is the very reverse. Obedience which is unwillingly offered and causes no joy in the soul, is not acceptable. We must serve God with our heart, or we do not serve Him.
4. Need I tell you what must be the delight, the heavenly joy of our Lord, now that the work is finished? He is now the focus, the centre, the source of bliss. What must be His own delight! We often say of the angels that they rejoice over one sinner that repenteth. What means the presence of the angels? Why, that the angels see the joy of Christ when sinners repent.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.