From Eternity Past


Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant

Those who claim that Christ came to do away with the Old Testament represent the religion of the Hebrews as consisting of mere forms and ceremonies. But this is an error. Through all the ages after the Fall, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. Christ was the foundation and center of the sacrificial system. Since the sin of our first parents, the Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through His mediatorial work He may redeem man and vindicate the authority of the law of God. All communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. These holy men of old held communion with the Saviour who was to come to our world in human flesh. EP 256.2

Christ was the leader of the Hebrews in the wilderness, the Angel who, veiled in the cloudy pillar, went before the host. It was He who gave the law to Israel. (See Appendix, Note 6.) Amid the glory of Sinai Christ declared the ten precepts of His Father's law. He gave to Moses the law engraved upon tables of stone. EP 256.3

Christ spoke to His people through the prophets. The apostle Peter says that the prophets “prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:10, 11. It is the voice of Christ that speaks through the Old Testament. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10. EP 256.4

While personally among men, Jesus directed the minds of the people to the Old Testament. “Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me.” John 5:39. At this time the books of the Old Testament were the only part of the Bible in existence. EP 257.1

The ceremonial law was given by Christ. Even after it was no longer to be observed, the great apostle Paul pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator. The cloud of incense ascending with the prayers of Israel represents His righteousness that alone can make the sinner's prayer acceptable to God; the bleeding victim on the altar testified of a Redeemer to come. Thus through darkness and apostasy, faith was kept alive in the hearts of men until the advent of the promised Messiah. EP 257.2

Jesus was the Light of the world before He came in the form of humanity. The first gleam of light that pierced the gloom came from Christ. From Him has come every ray of heaven's brightness that has fallen upon the inhabitants of the earth. EP 257.3

Since the Saviour shed His blood and ascended to heaven “to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24), light has been streaming from the cross of Calvary and from the sanctuary above. The gospel of Christ gives significance to the ceremonial law. As truths are revealed, the character and purposes of God are made manifest. Every additional ray of light gives a clearer understanding of the plan of redemption. We see new beauty in the inspired Word and study its pages with more absorbing interest. EP 257.4

God did not design that Israel should build up a wall of partition between themselves and their fellowmen. The heart of Infinite Love was reaching out toward all the inhabitants of the earth, seeking to make them partakers of His love and grace. His blessing was granted to the chosen people that they might bless others. EP 257.5

Abraham did not shut himself away from the people around him. He maintained friendly relations with the kings of the surrounding nations, and the God of heaven was revealed through His representative. EP 258.1

To the people of Egypt God manifested Himself through Joseph. Why did the Lord choose to exalt Joseph so highly among the Egyptians? He desired to place him in the palace of the king that the heavenly illumination might extend far and near. Joseph was a representative of Christ. In their benefactor the Egyptians were to behold the love of their Creator and Redeemer. In Moses also God placed a light beside the throne of earth's greatest kingdom that all might learn of the true and living God. EP 258.2

In the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, a knowledge of the power of God spread far and wide. Centuries after the exodus, the priests of the Philistines reminded their people of the plagues of Egypt and warned them against resisting the God of Israel. EP 258.3