The Youth’s Instructor


July 20, 1899

“Sacrificed For Us”


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.” The Lord created man's moral faculties and his physical powers. All was a sinless transcript of himself. God endowed man with holy attributes, and placed him in a garden made expressly for him. Sin alone could ruin the beings created by the hand of the Almighty. YI July 20, 1899, par. 1

The malice that Satan bore to God led him to form the purpose of destroying the Creator's work. But no sooner was Satan, as he supposed, wholly successful 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.” Thus he showed to the heavenly universe and to the fallen world the value he placed on man. Not one jot nor tittle of his 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, and rescue the beings he had created. So Christ took upon himself the work of redemption,—a work which it was impossible for angels to do. The Son of God was made an offering for sin. YI July 20, 1899, par. 2

The work of redemption is called a mystery, and it is indeed the mystery by which everlasting righteousness is brought to all who believe. In consequence of sin, the race was at enmity with God. At an infinite cost, and by a process mysterious to angels as well as to men, Christ 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 witness to heavenly intelligences that the law was ordained to life, to insure 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. YI July 20, 1899, par. 3

This is the mystery of godliness,—that he who was equal with the Father should clothe his divinity with humanity, and laying aside all the glory of his office, 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. YI July 20, 1899, par. 4

Pilate pronounced Christ innocent, declaring that he found no fault in him. Yet to please the Jews, he commanded him to be beaten, and then delivered him up to suffer the cruel death of crucifixion. The Majesty of heaven was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and amid scoffs 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 his sufferings by their revilings. But as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, he opened not his mouth. He was giving his life for the life of the world, that all who believed in him might gain immortality. YI July 20, 1899, par. 5

Sweat-drops of agony stand upon the Saviour's brow, while from his murderers are heard the words, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” He 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.” YI July 20, 1899, par. 6

What an exhibition of divine love! Thus Christ proclaimed the good news of pardon, even to his murderers. On the cross he revealed the love of the unknown God. There is mercy for all. The most hardened sinner, if he repents, will be forgiven. YI July 20, 1899, par. 7

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Why, then, do those professing to believe in him show a hardness of heart, a lack of pity and love, which crucifies him afresh, and puts him to open shame? YI July 20, 1899, par. 8

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. YI July 20, 1899, par. 9

Christ's heart was pierced by a far sharper pain than that caused by the nails driven into his hands and feet. He was bearing the sins of the whole world, enduring 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 great darkness, lest he should swerve from his uprightness during the terrible ordeal. Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation 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. He could not have been tempted in all points 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 every man. In his closing hours, while hanging on the cross, he experienced to the fullest extent what man must experience when striving against sin. He realized how bad a 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. YI July 20, 1899, par. 10

Reason, lost in an unfathomable depth of wonder and amazement, would question the truthfulness of such a history; but faith accepts the inspired record. It is true, and it would be blasphemy to attempt a denial. 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 that it calls precious, sinks into insignificance when placed in the balance with one soul; for a priceless ransom has been paid for that soul. All heaven was given in one gift. YI July 20, 1899, par. 11

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, sinless 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 his great sacrifice? YI July 20, 1899, par. 12

Mrs. E. G. White