Why look at the shadow when you possess the substance? What artist studies a landscape in sombre twilight, when he may see the blaze of day? True - true at least in general. Yet... such study has it advantage. It not seldom happens that a portrait brings to view some shade of expression which had not previously observed in the face of the veritable man; and when some magnificent form of architecture, or the serried ridges and rocky peaks of a mountain, have stood up between us and the lingering lights of day, we have found, that although the minor beauties of fluted columns or frowning crags were lost in the shades of the evening, yet, drawn in sharp and clear outline against an evening sky, the effect of the whole was even more impressive that when eyed with the glare of the day. Thus it may be well, occasionally, at least, to examine the Gospel in the broad shadows and strongly defined outlines of an old economy...
Dr Thomas Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, see post on The Gospel in Ezekiel here.
The connection between our Lord's sufferings and kingly claims marks some of the most touching scenes of his history. In what character did his people reject him? It was as a king; they cried 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' In what guise did the soldiers ridicule him and revile him? It was as a king; 'they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head.' For what crime was he crucified? It was because he claimed to be king. The noble character of the sufferer shone through the meanest of circumstances of his death, and was read in the inscription that stood above his dying head, 'Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.' His royal claims have been lightly thought of, and often trampled beneath the heavy foot of power. Men have dared to treat them with scorn. Yet he, who is surely the best judge of their importance and value, has himself taught us a very different lesson.
Sermon on Colossians 1 v 13 in 'Christ and the Inheritance of the Saints'.