We can not understand the mystery of redemption. It is enough for us to know that God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son to die for us. The penalty of our transgression fell upon a pure, holy, innocent Substitute, even the Son of God. He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we might at last stand before God clothed in the robe of sinlessness.
The Gospel is the hope of the world. The cross is God’s agency for counterworking Satan’s plans, and restoring man to his original purity. The plan of salvation devised by the Father and the Son will be a grand success. Christ’s atoning sacrifice will arouse the sluggish mind, quickening into activity man’s mental and spiritual powers.
A Teacher Sent from God
Darkness had covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. The time had come when a Teacher from heaven must be sent to the world. Prophecy had foretold the advent of this teacher. “Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days,” — the days when Christ’s authority would be supreme and His power invincible.
As the scroll is further unrolled, we read, “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountains; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
It is by the power of the cross that man is to be redeemed. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold,” God says; “mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench; He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for His law.”
“Thus saith God the Lord, . . . I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. . . . Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. . . . I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”
“Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.”
Delivered from Death
Christ laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might know for Himself the sufferings and the temptations of human beings. He came to be their Surety, to overcome in their behalf, to live for them a sinless life, that through His power they might obtain the victory over evil. He came, saying, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” He placed Himself on a level with human beings, saying, I will stand at the head of the race, that through My humiliation they may be accepted as members of the royal family. I will declare the name of God unto my brethren. “I will put my trust in Him,”–just as I desire My disciples to do.
Only by bearing the penalty of our disobedience could Christ deliver us from eternal death. He became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Thus He placed us on vantage ground, where we could live pure, sinless lives. Repentant sinners stand before God justified and accepted, because the Innocent One has borne their guilt. The undeserving are made deserving, because in their behalf the Deserving became the undeserving.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” “In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.”
Rich in an Eternal Inheritance
Christ died to purchase salvation for us. He was raised for our justification, and He ever lives to make intercession for us. His life and death bring salvation to every believing child of God. By His death we are reconciled to God; by His life, as it is wrought out in our life, we shall be saved. We may be poor in temporal things, but we are rich in the treasure that endures forever. We have the deeds to an immortal inheritance, the title papers to a life that measures with the life of God.
— E.G. White, Signs of the Times, 6/17/1903