SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7A (EGW)

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XII. Justice and Mercy Blend at Cross

Justice and Mercy stood apart, in opposition to each other, separated by a wide gulf. The Lord our Redeemer clothed His divinity with humanity, and wrought out in behalf of man a character that was without spot or blemish. He planted His cross midway between heaven and earth, and made it the object of attraction which reached both ways, drawing both Justice and Mercy across the gulf. Justice moved from its exalted throne, and with all the armies of heaven approached the cross. There it saw One equal with God bearing the penalty for all injustice and sin. With perfect satisfaction Justice bowed in reverence at the cross, saying, It is enough.—General Conference Bulletin, Fourth Quarter, 1899, vol. 3, p. 102. 7ABC 469.3

Christ's death proved God's administration and government to be without a flaw. Satan's charge in regard to the conflicting attributes of justice and mercy was forever settled beyond question. Every voice in heaven and out of heaven will one day testify to the justice, mercy, and exalted attributes of God. It was in order that the heavenly universe might see the conditions of the covenant of redemption that Christ bore the penalty in behalf of the human race.—Manuscript 128, 1897. 7ABC 470.1

His [Christ's] object was to reconcile the prerogatives of justice and mercy, and let each stand separate in its dignity, yet united. His mercy was not weakness, but a terrible power to punish sin because it is sin; yet a power to draw to it the love of humanity. Through Christ Justice is enabled to forgive without sacrificing one jot of its exalted holiness.—General Conference Bulletin, Fourth Quarter, 1899, vol. 3, p. 102. 7ABC 470.2

Justice demands that sin be not merely pardoned, but the death penalty must be executed. God, in the gift of His only begotten Son, met both these requirements. By dying in man's stead, Christ exhausted the penalty and provided a pardon.—Manuscript 50, 1900. 7ABC 470.3

God bowed His head satisfied. Now justice and mercy could blend. Now He could be just, and yet the Justifier of all who should believe on Christ. He [God] looked upon the victim expiring on the cross, and said, “It is finished. The human race shall have another trial.” The redemption price was paid, and Satan fell like lightning from heaven.—The Youth's Instructor, June 21, 1900. 7ABC 470.4

The only-begotten Son of God took upon Him the nature of man, and established His cross between earth and heaven. Through the cross, man was drawn to God, and God to man. Justice moved from its high and awful position, and the heavenly hosts, the armies of holiness, drew near to the cross, bowing with reverence; for at the cross justice was satisfied. Through the cross the sinner was drawn from the stronghold of sin, from the confederacy of evil, and at every approach to the cross his heart relents and in penitence he cries, “It was my sins that crucified the Son of God.” At the cross he leaves his sins, and through the grace of Christ His character is transformed. The Redeemer raises the sinner from the dust, and places him under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.—The Signs of the Times, June 5, 1893. 7ABC 470.5