Category Archives: High Priest

Christ’s Advocacy Leads to Humility

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As we should make use of this doctrine (Christ as our Advocate before the Father) to strengthen faith and prayer, so we should make use of it to keep us humble; for the more offices Christ executeth for us with the Father, the greater sign that we are bad; and the more we see our badness, the more humble should we be. Christ gave for us the price of blood; but that is not all; Christ as a Captain has conquered death and the grave for us, but that is not all: Christ as a Priest intercedes for us in heaven; but that is not all. Sin is still in us, and with us, and mixes itself with whatever we do, whether what we do be religious or civil; for not only our prayers and our sermons, our hearings and preaching, and so; but our houses, our shops, our trades, and our beds, are all polluted with sin. Nor doth the devil, our night and day adversary, forbear to tell our bad deeds to our Father, urging that we might for ever be disinherited for this. But what should we now do, if we had not an Advocate; yea, if we had not one who would plead in forma pauperis; yea, if we had not one that could prevail, and that would faithfully execute that office for us? Why, we must die. But since we are rescued by him, let us, as to ourselves, lay our hand upon our mouth, and be silent, and say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory.” And, I say again, since the Lord Jesus is fain to run through so many offices for us before he can bring us to glory, oh! how low, how little, how vile and base in our own eyes should we be.

It is a shame for a Christian to think highly of himself, since Christ is fain to do so much for him, and he again not at all able to make him amends; but some, whose riches consist in nothing but scabs and lice, will yet have lofty looks. But are not they much to blame who sit lifting up of lofty eyes in the house, and yet know not how to turn their hand to do anything so, but that another, their betters, must come and mend their work? I say, is it not more [fitting] that those that are such, should look and speak, and act as such that declare their sense of their unhandiness, and their shame, and the like, for their unprofitableness? Yea, is it not [fitting] that to every one they should confess what sorry ones they are? I am sure it should be thus with Christians, and God is angry when it is otherwise. Nor doth it become these helpless ones to lift up themselves on high. Let Christ’s advocateship therefore teach us to be humble.

John Bunyan (1628-88), The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate, 1.197

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Filed under Advocate, Applied Theology, Christian Living, Christology, Church History, High Priest, Humility, Puritans

The Antiquity of God’s Love to Believers (The Father’s Bargain)

flavelHence, in like manner, you may be informed of the consistency of grace with full satisfaction to the justice of God. The apostle, 2 Tim. 1:9. tells us, “We are saved according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Jesus Christ before the world began.” I. e. According to the gracious terms of this covenant of redemption; and yet you see notwithstanding, how strictly God stands upon satisfaction from Christ; so then, grace to us, and satisfaction to justice… what was debt to Christ, is grace to us: when you hear men cry out, Here is grace indeed! pay me all, and I will forgive you; remember, how all mouths are stopped with that one text, Rom. 3:24. “Being justified freely by his grace;” and yet he adds, “through the redemption that is in Christ.”

Again, Hence judge of the antiquity of the love of God to believers! what an ancient friend he has been to us; who loved us, provided for us, and contrived all our happiness, before we were, yes, before the world was. We reap the fruits of this covenant now, the seed whereof was sown from eternity; yes, it is not only ancient, but also most free: no excellencies of ours could engage the love of God; for as yet we were not.

Hence judge, How reasonable it is that believers should embrace the hardest terms of obedience unto Christ, who complied with such hard terms for their salvation: they were hard and difficult terms indeed, on which Christ received you from the Father’s hand: it was, as you have heard, to pour out his soul unto death, or not to enjoy a soul of you. Here you may suppose the Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you:

Father. My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls And thus Christ returns.

Son. O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all your bills, that I may see what they owe you; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shall you require it. I will rather choose to suffer your wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.

Father. But, my Son, if you undertake for them, you must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare you.

Son. Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, (for so indeed it did, 2 Cor. 8:9. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”) yet I am content to undertake it.

Blush, ungrateful believers, O let shame cover your faces; judge in yourselves now, has Christ deserved that you should stand with him for trifles, that you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and complain, this is hard, and that is harsh? O if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful condescension for you, you could not do it.

John Flavel (1628-91), exert from sermon, “The Covenant of Redemption between the Father and the Redeemer“.

HT: Matt Sliger – referenced in a wonderful sermon on “The Justifying Work of God”

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Sandy Hook & Christmas: God’s Answer to Our Suffering & Sin

sandyhookThis morning several homes are emptier than they were just a day before.  There are less than two weeks left before Christmas and presents sit under trees that will never be opened by the little hands they were intended for.  A great tragedy has come among us.  Yesterday, our nation watched as the horror unfolded.  In Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a lone gunman opened fire on faculty and students, killing 26 people, with 20 of those being children ranging from five to ten years of age.  Prior to going to the school, gunman, Adam Lanza, murdered his own mother.  Following the rampage, Lanza turned the gun on himself, committing suicide and raising the death toll to 28, making this the second deadliest school shooting in our country’s history, exceeded by the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, which took 33 lives.

A brief scan of news reports and social media portray a cacophony of emotions, questions, accusations, and frustrations.  We ask, “who could do such a thing?”, “why would someone do such a thing?”, and “how could this happen?”, seeking clarity in a time of great confusion.  Many answers have been given to these questions.  Some have been helpful, others polarizing, but each lacks the comfort we seek – a comfort outside of ourselves and mankind.  Don’t get me wrong, those answers are needed and can be helpful to a degree but they will not ultimately comfort us or those directly involved.  So, how are we to respond biblically, as God’s people, to such a heinously inconceivable event such as this?

Let me suggest a few, though not exhaustive, responses that will bring comfort to us and others as well as honor God:

1. Mourn

One way we are to biblically respond to the lives stolen away in this murderous attack is for us to mourn.  Break down and cry, empathize with the broken families, hug your own children or spouses, and feel the burden of pain and loss.  When we mourn we acknowledge that this is not how it is supposed to be.  The pain, the sorrow, and the loss are all aspects of a sin cursed world that do not please us nor do they please God.  We are right to weep and we are right to mourn.  Also, when we mourn, we imitate Jesus Christ.  Though clearly different circumstances, Jesus wept with others at the loss of Lazarus.  John 11:32-35 says, “Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.”  Christ did not weep because their was no hope or comfort for them but he sought to show compassion, as a sympathetic high priest, that we would follow in his footsteps.  Colossians 3:12 declares, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts.”  When death, suffering, or a tragedy occurs we are to mourn with those who are mourning, for in doing so we acknowledge that this is not how it is supposed to be, we imitate our Lord, and we, as those who have been shown compassion and by God’s grace, show compassion to the hurting.

2. Affirm the Act as Evil

Underneath our mourning lies another biblical response to this horrific event: affirming the act as evil.  The Governor of Connecticut has done well and simply said yesterday, “Evil has visited this community today.”  That is an accurate statement.  What Adam Lanza did was and is evil.  But affirming this is not as simple as it seems.  You see, we live in a culture, or better yet, as world saturated with evil and sin.  The top selling movies, TV shows, sports, video games, and toys are centered around violence and forms or evil.  Our local, national, and global news reports bombarde us with sounds, pictures, and accounts of evil 24 hours a day.  This type of exposure and, in many cases, enjoyment (media and sports) has come to desensitize and dehumanize us.  How can we can go out a watch a movie that glories murder and mayhem or play a video game that centers on killing people and expect ourselves to be able to discern and separate the differences between those things and a real account of someone(s) murder?  We can’t.  It is becoming more and more difficult for our world and specifically our culture here in the West to call evil evil.  Isaiah, some 2,700 years ago warned Israel and us of this, proclaiming:

Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

and shrewd in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)

It is not that anyone has come out in defense of this as not evil but excuses are already pouring forth in abundance.  Mental health issues, medication, and more are being blamed for this event.  While those things may have contributed to the situation in which the act was carried out they do not excuse the act or Lanza from the evil he has done.  Deep down a hesitancy to call this and other acts like this evil, regardless of amount and age of the victims, is a desire to excuse the evil within each and every one of us – a desire to ignore the problem all of us face.

You see, Lanza didn’t merely do something evil or sinful, he was evil at his core.  The Bible does not say that we are sinners because we sin but that we sin because we are sinners.  Jesus said, “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person”(Matt 15:18-20).  Lanza murdered because he was a murderer at heart.  He did evil because his heart was evil.  And this is true for all of us.  We sin because our hearts are sinful from birth.  We do evil and seek to excuse evil in others because our hearts are evil.  The difficulty of affirming this heinous act as evil is that in doing so we are affirm the problem we all face: evil/sinful hearts.  But if we are to be honest before a the world and before one another we must affirm this act as evil, as a transgression against the God who created us each in His image.

3. Believe

Mention evil and questions arise.  What is evil?  Where did it come from?  If there is a God why did and does he allow it?  Again, numerous answers have been given.  Some have been helpful and others merely ignore the reality that we face as human beings – we live in a world saturated with evil.  As mentioned above, evil is personal because it resides within each of us.  But for some this is unsatisfying.  “Well didn’t God create us this way or couldn’t he have stopped it from happening?”, they ask, seeking to accuse anyone but themselves and affirm their own heart problem.  But God is not bothered by questions for he spoken and he has answered the question of sin and suffering in the world.  His answer was Christmas.  Sound strange?  Maybe it does if you haven’t thought about Christmas this way before, but it is God’s solution to sin, suffering, evil and our heart problem.  Unlike Eastern religions, God did not, nor does he have us, ignore evil, sin, and suffering in the world. And unlike all other religions besides Christianity, God does not look to us to overcome those things through a list of rules, regulations, and rites to perform.  Instead, the God of the Bible, the Creator of heaven and earth, came.

The Word, being God, became flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus Christ.  He was tempted in all ways like we are yet without sin.  He lived in perfect obedience to his Father fulfilling all righteousness.  He suffered betrayal, loss, hunger, thirst, great pain, and even death on the cross.  As Peter Kreeft has stated, “God’s answer to the problem of suffering is that he came right down into it.  Many Christians try to get God off the hook for suffering; God put himself on the hook, so to speak – on the cross.”

In his sovereign love, God became a man, in the person of Jesus Christ, submitted himself to the pains or evils of this world, and died on a cross in the place of sinners, suffering the wrath of God and the evil of man.  But that was not the end of the story.  Three days later Jesus resurrected, defeating death, so that we would experience life as God intended. What was the greatest evil ever committed was ordained by God to bring about the greatest possible good – the defeat of evil, sin, and our heart problem.

This leads us to the third way we can respond biblically to this awful occasion: by God’s grace, believe in Jesus Christ as God come in the flesh, who fulfilled all righteousness on your behalf that you might be reconciled to God, who died that your sin debt might be cancelled, and who rose that you might have new life, a new heart, and fellowship with him for eternity.  Evil is real and our hearts bear witness of its existence, but it is not without an answer.  God has spoken and answered the problem of evil and of our hearts with Christmas.  As Tim Keller wrote, “If we embrace the Christian teaching that Jesus is God and that he went to the Cross, then we have deep consolation and strength to face the brutal realities of life on earth.  We can know that God is truly Immanuel – God with us – even in our worst sufferings.”

4. Hope

Lastly, a fourth way we can biblically respond to this evil and other in the world is hope.  Two things are wrapped up in the hope for God’s people.  First, there is the hope, or better yet, a guarantee of the consummation of all things.  From before the foundation of the world, God set forth a plan to unite all things in Christ, redeem a people for himself, and dwell with them forever in glory.  There are two major aspects to this consummation: resurrection and restoration.  Referring to resurrection, Paul, in Romans 8:24-25, writes, “For in this hope (the redemption of our bodies – v 23) we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”  This hope of resurrection is not wishful thinking but guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  2 Corinthians 4:14 declares, “knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.” In the end, with Christ’s return, all the dead shall be raised and given new bodies, like Christ’s resurrected body.  We will be like him.  The purpose of our redemption will have been fulfilled.

This leads to the next aspect of the consummation: restoration.  When Christ returns he will make all things new.  It is already begun in the hearts and lives of all who have faith but will one day be completed.  This is a great hope indeed.  Listen to how the Apostle John describes that day:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Rev 21:1-4)

Evil, sin, suffering, and death will be no more.  Oh, what a glorious day that will be!  Christ has overcome! As the apostle says, even now “Come, Lord Jesus!”  With these two aspects together, Keller writes, “The Biblical view of things is resurrection – not a future that is just a consolation for the life we never had but a restoration of the life you always wanted.  This means that every horrible thing that ever happened will not only be undone and repaired but will in some way make the eventual glory and joy even greater.”

The second thing wrapped up in our hope is judgment.  You see, God is just, holy, and righteous and will by no means clear the guilty.  While he does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, his justice and holiness demands judgment and wrath.  Even in the fallen state of sin, our hearts bear witness to this.  When evil strikes we demand justice.  When we are sinned against we cry out for judgment to reign down.  While there are levels of judgment and penalty given to man by God, ultimate justice is His alone.  Paul writes, “ Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom 12:17-19).  This is a great comfort to many as evil has been committed against them and others and has gone unpunished in this world, but God has not been blind to this and he will bring justice on all evil and sin.  Judgment and justice escaped in this life does not negate it before God, it only ensures it.  But this is only comforting if it is not you who will be judged.  You see, God has and will judge and punish all sin in one of two ways: either in Christ by his sacrificial and substitutionary death on the cross or by punishing the sinner for eternity in hell.  If you have repented of your sin and turned to Christ by faith, your sin debt has been satisfied in Him but if you have not come to know Jesus by grace through faith, as John says, the wrath of God remains on you (John 3:36).

Now and in the end, our great hope and comfort is this:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

This is the hope in the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ. And for those that do not know Him:

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent (and believe in Christ), because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31 ESV)

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The Depression Defying Power of Preaching to Yourself

The depressed self tries to take over. Don’t listen to him. Talk to him. Yes, those who fear for your stability may think your depression means you’re crazy. Risk confirming their suspicions by talking to yourself! You have Psalm 42’s permission.

In his classic work Spiritual Depression, Martyn Lloyd-Jones reflects on Psalm 42 and advises thusly:

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: “Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you. . . .”

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: “Why art thou cast down”—what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: “Hope thou in God”—instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God.”

The depressed person must defy his depressed self. Stop listening; start talking. Don’t blather. Don’t mumble. Take hold of yourself and preach! Proclaim glad tidings of great joy. (This is not the same as positive thinking or “word of faith” theology’s false doctrine of the tongue’s power. That is magic. This is preaching the sufficiency of Christ.) Tell yourself that you are loved by God, that Christ has died in your stead, that the Spirit lives in you, consecrating you to God and guaranteeing your salvation. Inform yourself that Jesus is your defense attorney, that he pleads his blood in response to every charge brought against you. Tell your depression that its days are numbered, and even if it should—God forbid—last till your dying breath, it will thus be vanquished for all eternity while you escape to everlasting joy. That’s thumbing your nose at it! It won’t win. Christ won, so Christ will. You will outlast your depression, because Christ in you, the hope of glory, will outlast it.

Most of us have a tape that plays in our head. The tape is set to repeat, and its accusatory message loops over and over. The tape may play a message from the Devil or perhaps something that has burdened us since childhood. I have a tape that plays in my head every now and then, something that comes from the neuroses of my childhood, my desire for significance, and my timidity. Your tape may say any of the following:

  • You can never be forgiven.
  • God doesn’t love you.
  • Jesus didn’t die for you.
  • You aren’t smart enough to trust Jesus.
  • You aren’t holy enough to trust Jesus.
  • You are the failures of your parents.
  • You are the failures of your children.
  • You are your failures.

Our devilish accuser and our accusatory self are very innovative. They hear from us what would be the most crushing thing to hear, and that is what they record for us to listen to.

My tape says this: You are only as good as what you haven’t done.

This toxic message wrecked my inner life as a child. I would achieve or express talent, but it never seemed good enough. The voice inside always asked, “But what else? Is that it? That’s the best you can do?” This voice has been with me a very long time. It plays sometimes at a whisper, sometimes at full volume, at inopportune moments. When I have made a mistake as a parent, as a husband, as a pastor, it may blare in my ear without warning. It says “so what?” about any success or affirmation I have had; it asks “what else?” It tells me that I am only as good a parent, a husband, a pastor, or a Christian as my failures in these areas.

Since my moment of gospel wakefulness, the tape plays much less often, but when it does, I know just what to do with it. I do what you ought to do when your tape plays. Don’t press pause. Press eject. Remove the tape, drop it to the ground, and crush it under the heel of Christ, who is your righteousness.

Don’t listen to your tape anymore. Don’t trust your own reasoning. You can’t trust yourself when you are depressed. Richard Sibbes wrote a powerful little meditation for the depressed and the discouraged called The Bruised Reed, in which he tells us:

We must not judge of ourselves always according to present feeling, for in temptations we shall see nothing but smoke of distrustful thoughts. Fire may be raked up in the ashes, though not seen. Life in the winter is hid in the root.

You can’t trust depression, no matter how “reliable” it is. Defy yourself by believing God is doing something in and through you that you can’t see. Gospel yourself!

Your proclamation to yourself may sound something like this:

My soul is cast down within me;

therefore I remember you

from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,

from Mount Mizar. (Ps. 42:6)

The psalmist is remembering something else now. He remembers times of God’s closeness. He remembers God’s historic faithfulness. He remembers the land of Jordan, where the river gives lush land, where the Israelites crossed from wandering to the land of promise. He remembers the land of Hermon, the pearly snow-capped summit, a height of heights. He remembers Mount Mizar, a smaller range, perhaps a place of exile and comfort. Whether these memories are personal recollections of places of intimacy with God or general recollections of God’s goodness to his people, the climax of God’s historic and localized act of faithfulness is this: the cross of Christ.

Is your soul cast down within you? Remember God, therefore, from the land of Judea and of Jerusalem, from Mount Calvary.

Always remember the cross, which is the historical verification of God’s justice and mercy. The cross is proof that God loves sinners.

Jared C. Wilson, Gospel Wakefulness, Chapter 8.

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Sympathy Found in Suffering Felt

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…” – Hebrews 4:15

He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” – Isaiah 53:3

___________

DIGORY kept his mouth very tight shut. He had been growing more and more uncomfortable. He hoped that, whatever happened, he wouldn’t blub or do anything ridiculous.

“Son of Adam,” said Aslan. “Are you ready to undo the wrong that you have done to my sweet country of Narnia on the very day of its birth?”

“Well, I don’t see what I can do,” said Digory. “You see, the Queen ran away and -” “I asked, are you ready?” said the Lion.

“Yes,” said Digory. He had had for a second some wild idea of saying “I’ll try to help you if you’ll promise to help my Mother,” but he realized in time that the Lion was not at all the sort of person one could try to make bargains with. But when he had said “Yes,” he thought of his Mother, and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump came in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out:

“But please, please – won’t you – can’t you give me something that will cure Mother?” Up till then he had been looking at the Lion’s great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders)great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory’s own that for a moment he  felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.
“My son, my son,” said Aslan. “I know. Grief is great. Only you and I in this land know that yet. Let us be good to one another. But I have to think of hundreds of years in the life of Narnia. The Witch whom you have brought into this world will come back to Narnia again. But it need not be yet. It is my wish to plant in Narnia a tree that she will not dare to approach, and that tree will protect Narnia from her for many years. So this land shall have a long, bright morning before any clouds come over the sun. You must get me the seed from which that tree is to grow.”
“Yes, sir,” said Digory. He didn’t know how it was to be done but he felt quite sure now that he would be able to do it. The Lion drew a deep breath, stooped its head even lower and gave him a Lion’s kiss. And at once Digory felt that new strength and courage had gone into him.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963), The Magician’s NephewChapter 12.

____________

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
– 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

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