EGW SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7A


III. Incarnation Prerequisite to Atoning Sacrifice

Christ has purchased the world by making a ransom for it, by taking human nature. He was not only the offering, but He Himself was the Offerer. He clothed His divinity with humanity, and voluntarily took upon Him human nature, making it possible to offer Himself as a ransom.—Manuscript 92, 1899. 7ABC 460.7

Not one of the angels could have become surety for the human race: their life is God's; they could not surrender it. The angels all wear the yoke of obedience. They are the appointed messengers of Him who is the commander of all Heaven. But Christ is equal with God, infinite and omnipotent. He could pay the ransom for man's freedom. He is the eternal, self-existing Son, on whom no yoke had come; and when God asked, “whom shall I send?” He could reply, “Here am I; send me.” He could pledge Himself to become man's surety; for He could say that which the highest angel could not say,—I have power over My own life, “power to lay it down, and ... power to take it again.”—The Youth's Instructor, June 21, 1900. 7ABC 461.1

Man could not atone for man. His sinful, fallen condition would constitute him an imperfect offering, an atoning sacrifice of less value than Adam before his fall. God made man perfect and upright, and after his transgression there could be no sacrifice acceptable to God for him, unless the offering made should in value be superior to man as He was in his state of perfection and innocency. 7ABC 461.2

The divine Son of God was the only sacrifice of sufficient value to fully satisfy the claims of God's perfect law. The angels were sinless, but of less value than the law of God. They were amenable to law. They were messengers to do the will of Christ, and before him to bow. They were created beings, and probationers. Upon Christ no requirements were laid. He had power to lay down his life, and to take it again. No obligation was laid upon him to undertake the work of atonement. It was a voluntary sacrifice that He made. His life was of sufficient value to rescue man from his fallen condition.—The Spirit of Prophecy 2:9, 10 (1877 ed.). 7ABC 461.3