Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 29, 1899

Sacrificed for Us


March 17, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 90; 5BC 1085; 7BC 914-915; 6MR 2. +Note

In the councils of heaven God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” [Genesis 1:26, 27.] The Lord created the moral faculties and the physical powers possessed by man. All was a sinless transcript of himself. God endowed man with holy attributes and placed him in the garden made expressly for him. Sin alone could ruin the beings created by the hand of Christ, and deface God’s image in them. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 1

The malice Satan bore to God led him to form the purpose of destroying the Creator’s work through subtlety. But no sooner was Satan wholly successful, as he supposed, in placing Adam on his side, to work in unison with the fallen angels, than God interposed to rescue him. He “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] Thus He showed to the heavenly universe and to the fallen angels the value He placed upon man. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 2

Not one jot or tittle of God’s law could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition and save him from eternal death. But God could give up His Son, to vindicate the honor of His law, to elevate, ennoble, and forever settle its immutability, and rescue the beings He had created. So Christ took upon Himself the redemption of the soul, a work which it was impossible for angels to do. He was made an offering for sin. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 3

The work of redemption is called a mystery, and it is indeed the mystery by which everlasting righteousness is brought to all who believe. The race in consequence of sin was at enmity with God. Christ, at an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, assumed humanity. Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem. In human flesh He lived the law of God, that He might condemn sin in the flesh, and bear witness to heavenly intelligences that the law was ordained to life and to ensure the happiness, peace, and eternal good of all who obey. But the same infinite sacrifice that is life to those who believe is a testimony of condemnation to the disobedient, speaking death and not life. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 4

This is the mystery of godliness, that One equal with the Father should clothe His divinity with humanity, and laying aside all the glory of His office as Commander in heaven, descend step after step in the path of humiliation, enduring severe and still more severe abasement. Sinless and undefiled, He stood in the judgment hall, to be tried, to have His case investigated and pronounced upon by the very nation He had delivered from slavery. The Lord of glory was rejected and condemned, yea, spit upon. With contempt for what they regarded as His pretentious claims, men smote Him in the face. These men will one day call upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon them and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 5

Pilate pronounced Christ innocent, declaring that he found no fault in Him. Yet to please the Jews, he commanded Him to be scourged and then delivered Him up, bruised and bleeding, to suffer the cruel death of crucifixion. The Majesty of heaven was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and amid scoffing and jeers, ridicule and false accusation, He was nailed to the cross. The crowd, in whose hearts humanity seemed to be dead, sought to aggravate the cruel sufferings of the Son of God by their revilings. But as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. He was giving His life for the life of the world, that all who believed in Him should not perish. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 6

Christ’s heart was pierced by a far sharper pain than that caused by the nails driven into His hands and feet. Sweat drops of agony stand upon His brow, while from the murderers are heard the words, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” [Matthew 27:40.] The Saviour is about to speak. What will He say? From His pale, quivering lips come the words, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” [Luke 23:34.] What an exhibition of divine love! These words are an expression of God’s love to man. Thus Christ proclaimed the message of mercy, even to His murderers. The good news of pardon was proclaimed upon the cross. There is mercy for all. The most hardened sinner, if he repents and believes in Jesus, will be forgiven. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 7

We say to those who profess to be children of God, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1:29.] Why then do those who profess to believe in Him reveal a hardness of heart, a lack of pity, mercy, and love, that crucifies Christ afresh, and puts Him to an open shame? 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 8

On the cross the Saviour revealed the love of the unknown God. Had the people known God, they would not have thought they were doing Him service by persecuting and putting to death the prophets. But they forgot their Creator, and waxing bold in their supposed superiority, they put to death Him who alone was able to give them life. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 9

Christ bore the sins of the whole world. He endured our punishment—the wrath of God against transgression. His trial involved the fierce temptation of thinking that He was forsaken by God. His soul was tortured by the pressure of a horror of great darkness lest He should swerve from His uprightness during the terrible ordeal. He could not have been tempted in all points like as man is tempted had there been no possibility of His failing. He was a free agent, placed on probation, as was Adam and as is man. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 10

Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation comes and is resisted when man is powerfully influenced to do a wrong action and, knowing that he can do it, resists by faith, with a firm hold upon divine power. This was the ordeal through which Christ passed. In His closing hours, while hanging upon the cross, He experienced to the fullest extent what man must experience when striving against sin. He realized how bad man may become by yielding to sin. He realized the terrible consequence of the transgression of God’s law, for the iniquity of the whole world was upon Him. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 11

Reason, lost in an unfathomable depth of wonder and amazement, would question the truthfulness of such a record, but faith accepts the inspired record. It is true; and it would be blasphemy against God to attempt a denial. The Holy Spirit bears witness to the work of redemption. “He shall glorify me”—the speaker is the world’s Redeemer—“for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” [John 16:14.] The office work of the Holy Spirit is to display the glory of the person of Jesus Christ, God in man. The Holy Spirit makes known the things freely given to us of God. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 12

Precious jewels of truth, that are of the highest value to the meek and lowly ones who believe in Christ, are as foolishness to him who is wise in the world’s estimation. But truth, eternal truth, is ever present with the true believer. The Spirit is the appointed instructor of such a soul, his guide, his continual strength and righteousness. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 13

By giving His only begotten Son to die on the cross, God has shown us the estimate He places on the human soul. All that the world admires, all it calls precious, sinks into insignificance when placed in the balance with one soul, for a matchless ransom has been paid for that soul. All heaven has been given in one gift. 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 14

Christ was afflicted, insulted, abused; on the right hand and on the left He was assailed by temptation, yet He sinned not, but presented to God a perfect obedience that was entirely satisfactory to the Father. By this He removed forever every semblance of excuse for man not keeping the law. He came to show man how to obey, how to keep all the commandments, notwithstanding the swellings of iniquity. He laid hold of divine power, and this is the sinner’s only hope. He gave His life that man might become a partaker of the divine nature, having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. Consider the sacrifice made by the infinite God. Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. Who is our Redeemer? Isaiah tells us: “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6.] 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 15

Christ is the representative of God to man and the representative of man to God. He came to this world as man’s substitute and surety, and He is fully able to save all who repent and return to their allegiance. Because of His righteousness, He is able to place man on vantage ground. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. He gave His precious, innocent life to save guilty human beings from eternal ruin, that through faith in Him they might stand guiltless before the throne of God. What return have we made for this great sacrifice? 14LtMs, Ms 29, 1899, par. 16