In that most sublime and touching prayer which the Lord Jesus Christ, as the great High Priest over the house of God, offered up to his heavenly Father before he shed his precious blood on the cross, there is one petition, or rather an expression of his holy will, which is full of unspeakable blessedness. "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." The change from petitioning as a Priest to willing as a King is very remarkable, and casts a gracious light on the nature of Christ's mediatorial intercession at the right hand of God.
On the footing of his covenant engagements, atoning sacrifice, and finished work, as well as from the perfect equality of his divine nature with that of the Father and of the Holy Ghost, he utters the expression of that sovereign will which was and is identically the same with the eternal will and fixed decrees of his heavenly Father. And oh, how full and comprehensive, how gracious and condescending is the will of Christ as thus expressed! How it embraces in its firm and sovereign grasp all the members of his mystical body, all the sheep of his pasture and the flock of his hand, all that the Father gave him to be eternally his own!
Yes; all the countless millions who before the foundation of the world were given, him as his joy and crown, as his eternal inheritance, as the delight of his heart, and the promised reward of his incarnation, sufferings, and death, were included in this expression of his holy and unchanging will. Whatever be their state and condition here below, whatever sins and sorrows they may have to sigh and groan under, whatever opposition they may encounter from earth or hell, this will of Christ holds them up so that they cannot fall out of his hand, or be deprived of their glorious inheritance.