Can’t remember if I’ve posted this quote before, but it won’t harm to repeat if so.
– From the introduction of a short piece by Thomas Goodwin, with the long but self-explanatory title, ‘The heart of Christ in heaven towards sinners on earth; or, a treatise demonstrating the gracious disposition and tender affection of Christ, in his human nature now in glory, unto his members, under all sorts of infirmities, either of sin or misery.’
“Having set forth [in a previous treatise] our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in all his [saving work], I shall now annex, as next in order, and accordant thereunto, this discourse that follows. [It] lays open the heart of Christ, as now he is in heaven, sitting at God’s right hand, and interceding for us. How it is affected and graciously disposed towards sinners on earth who come to him – how willing to receive them – how ready to entertain them – how tender to pity them in all their infirmities, both sins and miseries.
The scope and use whereof will be this: to animate and encourage believers to come more boldly to the throne of grace, under all their miseries, unto such a Saviour and High Priest, when they shall know how sweetly and tenderly his heart, though he is now in his glory, is inclined towards them.
[This will] remove that great stone of stumbling which we meet with (and yet it lies unseen in the thoughts of men in the way to faith) that Christ being now absent, and withal exalted to so high and infinite a distance of glory as to ‘sit at God’s right hand,’ etc, they therefore know not how to come to treat with him, about either their salvation (so freely, and with that hopefulness to obtain, as those poor sinners did who were here on earth with him) or for relief under other miseries.
Had our lot been (think they) but to have conversed with him in the days of his flesh, as Mary and Peter and his other disciples did here below, we could have thought to have been bold and familiar with him, and to have had anything at his hands. They beheld him before them – a man like unto themselves, and he was full of meekness and gentleness, being then himself made sin, and conscious of all sorts of miseries. But now he is gone into a far country, and hath put on glory and immortality. How his heart may be altered thereby, we know not.
The drift of this discourse shall therefore be to ascertain to poor souls that Christ’s heart, in respect of pity and compassion, remains the same as it was on earth: that he intercedes there with the same heart he had here below, and that he is as meek, as gentle, as easy to be treated, as tender … So as that they may deal with him as fairly about the great matter of their salvation, and as hopefully, and on as easy terms obtain it of him, as they might if they had been on earth with him. And likewise, be as familiar in all their requests, as bold with him in all their needs.
Nothing can be more for the comfort and encouragement of those who have given over all other lives but that of faith, and whose souls pursue after strong and entire communion with their Saviour Christ.”