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The Excellency of Christ

Updated to Modern English

In the person of Jesus Christ, we observe many excellent qualities coming together. Many of his qualities seem to be very different from one another, such as power and humility, or sovereignty over all things and submission to the Father. This diversity leads to two very different scriptural designations for him: Lion and Lamb. In The Excellency of Christ, Jonathan Edwards makes the point that these diverse qualities should move people to admire the Lord Jesus Christ on a high level. Edwards maintains that especially at the cross, we see Christ exhibiting both his powerful lion-like might and his sacrificial lamb-like humility. When people really grasp those diverse qualities coming together at the same time and in such a powerful way, it should engender true, heart-felt worship. The Excellency of Christ is a masterpiece of biblical exposition, helping people meditate well on all the glory of Jesus. This version is updated to modern English so that readers today can experience the glory of the message without the burden of untangling Edward's lengthy sentences.

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Reviews from Amazon Customers

"This book helped me admire and delight in my Savior. I had been thinking about Jesus: how He unites such opposite extreme excellence. So when I found this book I was delighted. It helped me go deeper and wider. Jesus Christ, the Lion and the Lamb. Thank you, Mr. Dollar, for putting Jonathan Edwards into modern English. I shall read it over and over."

"Amazing! A wonderful book to read and learn about Jesus. Also, a reminder of who He is. Learning the contrast on the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God is just explosive! Jesus is excellent in all His ways. I thank God that He so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son. Thank Jesus."

"This short sermon paints a portrait of Christ as both Lion and Lamb. You will want to worship Christ, and you will gain a greater understanding of what he did for you when he died for your sins. You will also see him as friend. Finally you will gain a greater understanding of how he became human yet retained all the attributes of God."

"The product description says it well: 'This version is updated to modern English so that readers today can experience the glory of the message without the burden of untangling Edwards' lengthy sentences.' It has opened up a whole new world of Jonathan Edwards to me. Well done Jason Dollar! I look forward to more."

Excerpt from Chapter 6 "The Sacrifice of Christ"

As Christ was sacrificed, he faced the greatest humiliation of his life. But because of that very humiliation his divine glory appeared at its highest level.

Throughout his life, Christ’s humiliation was great. In the previous chapter, we reflected on the reality that he was born into poverty to a poor virgin. He came into the world in a stable and was laid in a manger. Later in his childhood, he graciously submitted to Joseph the carpenter and Mary his mother. In adulthood he also lived in poverty. Many times he didn’t even have a place to lay his head. Though he went about preaching and working miracles, he suffered many bitter words from his enemies.

All of these things were humiliating for Jesus. But never did he face humiliation like he did in his last sufferings, beginning in the garden and ending with his death on the cross. During that sorrowful time, Jesus was exposed to public shame like never before. He had never experienced so much pain in his body. His soul was also in supreme agony. Never before had he exercised so much condescension, humility, meekness, and patience. Never before was his divine glory covered over with such a thick veil. He emptied himself and made himself of no reputation like never before.

But never before was his divine glory revealed in such a supreme way! In the very same act of giving himself up to these sufferings, his lion-like qualities were also becoming visible. But it would be after the fruit of his sufferings came to bloom that their glory would truly appear. Over time the mystery of his sufferings began to be understood, for the point of what he did on the cross was unfolded and comprehended.

Once this happened, Christ’s sufferings were seen as the most glorious act he ever did for mankind! Even the angels in heaven celebrate the sacrifice of Christ with special praises. All the hosts of heaven join the angels in declaring this act supremely glorious.

Read Edwards' original version of The Excellency of Christ online at the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.