SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 2

9. See EGW on Matthew 27:21, 22, 29. 7BC 924.1

10 (ch. 5:8, 9; Isaiah 53:10). Sundering of the Divine Powers—The Captain of our salvation was perfected through suffering. His soul was made an offering for sin. It was necessary for the awful darkness to gather about His soul because of the withdrawal of the Father's love and favor; for He was standing in the sinner's place, and this darkness every sinner must experience. The righteous One must suffer the condemnation and wrath of God, not in vindictiveness; for the heart of God yearned with greatest sorrow when His Son, the guiltless, was suffering the penalty of sin. This sundering of the divine powers will never again occur throughout the eternal ages (Manuscript 93, 1899). 7BC 924.2

14 (see EGW on Matthew 27:50; John 3:14-17). Satan Vanquished at the Cross—He [Christ] vanquished Satan in the same nature over which in Eden Satan obtained the victory. The enemy was overcome by Christ in His human nature. The power of the Saviour's Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power (The Youth's Instructor, April 25, 1901). 7BC 924.3

(Ch. 12:3; Genesis 3:15; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Peter 2:24.) Christ Triumphant in Death—Christ was nailed to the cross, but He gained the victory. The whole force of evil gathered itself together in an effort to destroy Him who was the Light of the world, the Truth that makes men wise unto salvation. But no advantage was gained by this confederacy. With every advance move, Satan was bringing nearer his eternal ruin. Christ was indeed enduring the contradiction of sinners against Himself. But every pang of suffering that He bore helped tear away the foundation of the enemy's kingdom. Satan bruised Christ's heel, but Christ bruised Satan's head. Through death the Saviour destroyed him that had the power of death. In the very act of grasping his prey, death was vanquished; for by dying, Christ brought to light life and immortality through the gospel. 7BC 924.4

Never was the Son of God more beloved by His Father, by the heavenly family, and by the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds, than when He humbled Himself to bear disgrace, humiliation, shame, and abuse. By becoming the sin bearer, He lifted from the human race the curse of sin. In His own body He paid the penalty of that on which the power of Satan over humanity is founded—sin (The Youth's Instructor, June 28, 1900). 7BC 924.5

14-18 (ch. 1:3; John 1:1-3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; see EGW on Mark 16:6; Luke 22:44; Romans 5:12-19; Hebrews 3:1-3). God Reached Humanity Through Humanity—Christ alone was able to represent the Deity. He who had been in the presence of the Father from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone sufficient to accomplish this work. No verbal description could reveal God to the world. Through a life of purity, a life of perfect trust and submission to the will of God, a life of humiliation such as even the highest seraph in heaven would have shrunk from, God Himself must be revealed to humanity. In order to do this, our Saviour clothed His divinity with humanity. He employed the human faculties, for only by adopting these could He be comprehended by humanity. Only humanity could reach humanity. He lived out the character of God through the human body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God, thus showing that He had the power to unite humanity to divinity (The Review and Herald, June 25, 1895). 7BC 924.6

Christ Took Our Place in the Universe—Under the mighty impulse of His love, He took our place in the universe, and invited the Ruler of all things to treat Him as a representative of the human family. He identified Himself with our interests, bared His breast for the stroke of death, took man's guilt and its penalty, and offered in man's behalf a complete sacrifice to God. By virtue of this atonement, He has power to offer to man perfect righteousness and full salvation. Whosoever shall believe on Him as a personal Saviour shall not perish, but have everlasting life (The Review and Herald, April 18, 1893). 7BC 924.7

Christ Met Man as Man—Leaving the royal courts of heaven Christ came to our world to represent the character of His Father, and thus help humanity to return to their loyalty. The image of Satan was upon men, and Christ came that He might bring to them moral power and efficiency. He came as a helpless babe, bearing the humanity we bear. “As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.” He could not come in the form of an angel; for unless He met man as man, and testified by His connection with God that divine power was not given to Him in a different way to what it will be given to us, He could not be a perfect example for us. He came in humility, in order that the humblest being upon the face of the earth could have no excuse because of his poverty, or ignorance, and say, Because of these things, I cannot obey the law of Jehovah. Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity; that He might live with humanity and bear all the trials and afflictions of man. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. In His humanity He understood all the temptations that will come to man (Manuscript 21, 1895). 7BC 925.1

(1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1, 2; Revelation 3:4.) The Subdued Glory of the Human Christ—As we view Christ by the eye of faith, we see the necessity of becoming pure in thought and holy in character. Christ invites us to draw near to Him, and promises that He will draw nigh to us. Looking upon Him, we behold the invisible God, who clothed His divinity with humanity in order that through humanity He might shed forth a subdued and softened glory, so that our eyes might be enabled to rest upon Him, and our souls not be extinguished by His undimmed splendor. We behold God through Christ, our Creator and Redeemer. It is our privilege to contemplate Jesus by faith, and see Him standing between humanity and the eternal throne. He is our Advocate, presenting our prayers and offerings as spiritual sacrifices to God. Jesus is the great sinless propitiation, and through His merit, God and man may hold converse together. 7BC 925.2

Christ has carried His humanity into eternity. He stands before God as the representative of our race. When we are clothed with the wedding garment of His righteousness, we become one with Him, and He says of us, “They shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” His saints will behold Him in His glory, with no dimming veil between (The Youth's Instructor, October 28, 1897). 7BC 925.3

(Isaiah 59:20.) Human Nature but Not Human Sinfulness—He [Christ] was to take His position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man. In heaven was heard the voice, “The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord” (The Signs of the Times, May 29, 1901). 7BC 925.4

(Ch. 9:11-14, 22; Ruth 4:13, 14.) God of the Living and the Dead—As the sin bearer, and priest and representative of man before God, He entered into the life of humanity, bearing our flesh and blood. The life is in the living, vital current of blood, which blood was given for the life of the world. Christ made a full atonement, giving His life as a ransom for us. He was born without a taint of sin, but came into the world in like manner as the human family. He did not have a mere semblance of a body, but He took human nature, participating in the life of humanity. 7BC 925.5

According to the law Christ Himself gave, the forfeited inheritance was ransomed by the nearest of kin. Jesus Christ laid off His royal robe, His kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, in order to become a substitute and surety for humanity, that dying in humanity He might by His death destroy him who had the power of death. He could not have done this as God, but by coming as man Christ could die. By death He overcame death. The death of Christ bore to the death him who had the power of death, and opened the gates of the tomb for all who receive Him as their personal Saviour. 7BC 925.6

Christ proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He, the world's Redeemer, has bruised the serpent's head, depriving him of all power ever to make men feel his scorpion sting; for He has brought life and immortality to light. The gates of eternal life are thrown open to all who believe on Jesus Christ. All believers who pass through a natural death, have, through eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, eternal life in them, which is the life of Jesus Christ. In dying, Jesus has made it impossible for those who believe on Him to die eternally.... 7BC 926.1

Christ lived and died as a man, that He might be God both of the living and of the dead. It was to make it impossible for men to lose eternal life if they believe on Him. The life of men and women is precious in the sight of God; for Christ has purchased that life by being executed in their stead. Thus He made it possible for us to attain to immortality (Letter 97, 1898). 7BC 926.2

Creator and Creature United in Christ—In Christ were united the divine and the human—the Creator and the creature. The nature of God, whose law had been transgressed, and the nature of Adam, the transgressor, meet in Jesus—the Son of God, and the Son of man. And having with His own blood paid the price of redemption, having passed through man's experience, having in man's behalf met and conquered temptation, having, though Himself sinless, borne the shame and guilt and burden of sin, He becomes man's Advocate and Intercessor. What an assurance here to the tempted and struggling soul, what an assurance to the witnessing universe, that Christ will be “a merciful and faithful high priest” (Manuscript 141, 1901)! 7BC 926.3

Edenic Mind of Man Restored—Jesus became a man that He might mediate between man and God. He clothed His divinity with humanity, He associated with the human race, that with His long human arm He might encircle humanity, and with His divine arm grasp the throne of Divinity. And this, that He might restore to man the original mind which he lost in Eden through Satan's alluring temptation; that man might realize that it is for his present and eternal good to obey the requirements of God. Disobedience is not in accordance with the nature which God gave to man in Eden (Letter 121, 1897). 7BC 926.4

(2 Peter 1:4.) A Divine Culture for Christians—Divine culture brings perfection. If in connection with God the work is carried forward, the human agent, through Christ, will day by day gain victory and honor in the battle. Through the grace given he will overcome, and will be placed on vantage ground. In his relation to Christ he will be bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, one with Christ in a peculiar relationship, because Christ took the humanity of man. He became subject to temptation, endangering as it were, His divine attributes. Satan sought, by the constant and curious devices of his cunning, to make Christ yield to temptation. Man must pass over the ground over which Christ has passed. As Christ overcame every temptation which Satan brought against Him, so man is to overcome. And those who strive earnestly to overcome are brought into a oneness with Christ that the angels in heaven can never know. 7BC 926.5

The divine culture of men and women will be carried forward to completion only as they are partakers of the divine nature. Thus they may overcome as Christ overcame in their behalf. Through the grace given, fallen man may be placed on vantage ground. Through toil, through patient trust and faith in Jesus Christ, through faithful continuance in well-doing, he may rise to spiritual victory (Letter 5, 1900). 7BC 926.6

Full Obedience Possible Through Christ—Christ came to the earth, taking humanity and standing as man's representative, to show in the controversy with Satan that man, as God created him, connected with the Father and the Son, could obey every divine requirement (The Signs of the Times, June 9, 1898). 7BC 926.7

16 (Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus the Friend of Sinners—Jesus came to the world not as an angel of light; we could not have endured His glory if He had come thus. One angel at the tomb of Christ was of such exceeding brightness that the Roman guard fell powerless to the ground. As the angel came from the heavens, he parted the darkness from his track, and the sentinels could not endure his glory; they fell as dead men to the earth. Suppose that Jesus had come in the glory of an angel, His brightness would have extinguished the feeble life of mortal men. 7BC 926.8

For our sake Jesus emptied Himself of His glory; He clothed His divinity with humanity that He might touch humanity, that His personal presence might be among us, that we might know that He was acquainted with all our trials, and sympathized with our grief, that every son and daughter of Adam might understand that Jesus is the friend of sinners (The Signs of the Times, April 18, 1892). 7BC 927.1

Not Angelic but Human Nature—The Lord Jesus has made a great sacrifice in order to meet man where he is. He took not on Him the nature of angels. He did not come to save angels. It is the seed of Abraham that He is helping. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Christ helps humanity by taking human nature (Letter 97, 1898). 7BC 927.2

17 (Philippians 2:7, 8; Colossians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:4; see EGW on Hebrews 4:14-16). Christ Took Humanity Into Himself—By His obedience to all the commandments of God, Christ wrought out a redemption for man. This was not done by going out of Himself to another, but by taking humanity into Himself. Thus Christ gave to humanity an existence out of Himself. To bring humanity into Christ, to bring the fallen race into oneness with divinity, is the work of redemption. Christ took human nature that men might be one with Him as He is one with the Father, that God may love man as He loves His only-begotten Son, that men may be partakers of the divine nature, and be complete in Him (The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906). 7BC 927.3

18 (chs. 4:15; 5:7, 8; John 14:30; see EGW on Matthew 4:1-11; 1 John 2:1). The Refined Sensibilities of Jesus—Would that we could comprehend the significance of the words, Christ “suffered being tempted.” While He was free from the taint of sin, the refined sensibilities of His holy nature rendered contact with evil unspeakably painful to Him. Yet with human nature upon Him, He met the archapostate face to face, and single-handed withstood the foe of His throne. Not even by a thought could Christ be brought to yield to the power of temptation. 7BC 927.4

Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” The storms of temptation burst upon Him, but they could not cause Him to swerve from His allegiance to God (The Review and Herald, November 8, 1887). 7BC 927.5

Jesus Not Pulled or Crowded Into Sin—Have we forgotten that Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, suffered being tempted? Jesus did not allow the enemy to pull Him into the mire of unbelief, or crowd Him into the mire of despondency and despair. But many poor souls are feeble in moral power because they do not do the words of Christ (Letter 43, 1892). 7BC 927.6

Power Assured for the Children of Faith—Christ in the weakness of humanity was to meet the temptations of one possessing the powers of the higher nature that God had bestowed on the angelic family. But Christ's humanity was united with divinity, and in this strength He would bear all the temptations that Satan could bring against Him, and yet keep His soul untainted by sin. And this power to overcome He would give to every son and daughter of Adam who would accept by faith the righteous attributes of His character (The Review and Herald, January 28, 1909). 7BC 927.7