There are few books besides the Holy Bible that I could honestly say have made an impact on me. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and John Owen’s Mortification of Sin in the Life of a Believer are two I could immediately mention. However, there is one Puritan gem that tops my list of magnificent writings and it is John Flavel’s The Fountain of Life. Sadly, it remains out of print and it can be hard to find. I was blessed to find a very old copy and it has become a treasure in my library. Flavel’s book focuses on Christ. It’s 556 pages of Christ – His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension and everything in between. It is truly a Christological masterpiece.
As we approach Easter, we also need to reflect on the ascension of Christ. Flavel has several chapters dedicated to marveling at Christ’s ascension. Following is an excerpt from the chapter entitled “Christ’s Exaltation” in which he compares Christ’s humiliation with His exaltation. It’s stunning…
He was born in a stable, but now He reigns in His royal palace. Then He had a manger for His cradle, but now He sits on a chair of state. Then, in contempt, they called Him the carpenter’s son; now He obtains a more excellent name than the angels. Then He was led away in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil; now it is proclaimed, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” Then He had not where to lay His head; now He is exalted to be heir of all things. In His state of humiliation, “He endured the contradiction of sinners;” in His state of exaltation, “He is adored and admired by saints and angels.” Then “He had no form or comeliness; and when we saw Him, there was no beauty, that we would desire Him;” now the beauty of His countenance sends forth such glorious beams as may dazzle the eyes of the celestial inhabitants round about Him. (pg. 512)
Marvel at these great truths. Meditate on the majesty and glory of the God-Man Jesus Christ who is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High waiting for His enemies to be made a footstool to His feet. Marvel also that the ascension and exaltation of Christ is a direct fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14.
Soli Deo Gloria Indeed!