SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7A (EGW)

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II. Ministry Applies and Completes Transaction of Cross

The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, “whither the forerunner is for us entered.” Hebrews 6:20. There the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption.—The Great Controversy, 489. 7ABC 478.2

Christ's words on the mountainside were the announcement that His sacrifice in behalf of man was full and complete. The conditions of the atonement had been fulfilled; the work for which He came to this world had been accomplished. He had won the kingdom. He had wrested it from Satan, and had become heir of all things. He was on His way to the throne of God, to be honored by angels, principalities, and powers. He had entered upon His mediatorial work. Clothed with boundless authority, He gave His commission to the disciples, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”—Manuscript 138, 1897. 7ABC 478.3

Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus.—Letter 87, 1894. 7ABC 478.4

Jesus stands before the Father, continually offering a sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is the minister of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. The typical offerings of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly atonement is no longer necessary. But because of the continual commission of sin, the atoning sacrifice of a heavenly Mediator is essential. Jesus, our great high priest, officiates for us in the presence of God, offering in our behalf His shed blood.—The Youth's Instructor, April 16, 1903. 7ABC 479.1

By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now, not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, these ascend to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression. To the true believer Christ is indeed the minister of the sanctuary, officiating for him in the sanctuary, and speaking through God's appointed agencies.—The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900. 7ABC 479.2

In the courts above, Christ is pleading for His church—pleading for those for whom He has paid the redemption price of His blood. Centuries, ages, can never lessen the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice. Neither life nor death, height nor depth, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus; not because we hold Him so firmly, but because He holds us so fast.—The Acts of the Apostles, 552, 553. 7ABC 479.3

Jesus is our great High Priest in heaven. And what is He doing?—He is making intercession and atonement for His people who believe in Him.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 37. 7ABC 479.4

God is approached through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the only way through which He forgives sins. God cannot forgive sins at the expense of His justice, His holiness, and His truth. But He does forgive sins and that fully. There are no sins He will not forgive in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sinner's only hope, and if he rests here in sincere faith, he is sure of pardon and that full and free. There is only one channel and that is accessible to all, and through that channel a rich and abundant forgiveness awaits the penitent, contrite soul and the darkest sins are forgiven. 7ABC 479.5

These lessons were taught to the chosen people of God thousands of years ago; repeated in various symbols and figures that the work of truth might be riveted in every heart, that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.—Letter 12, 1892. 7ABC 480.1

Christ died for us, and receiving His perfection, we are entitled to heaven. To all who believe in Him, He gives power to become the sons of God. Because He lives, we shall live also. He is our Advocate in the courts above. This is our only hope.—Manuscript 29, 1906. 7ABC 480.2

By pledging His own life, Christ has made Himself responsible for every man and woman on the earth. He stands in the presence of God, saying, Father, I take upon Myself the guilt of that soul. It means death to him if he is left to bear it. If he repents, he shall be forgiven. My blood shall cleanse him from all sin. I gave My life for the sins of the world. 7ABC 480.3

If the transgressor of God's law will see in Christ his atoning sacrifice, if he will believe in Him who can cleanse from all unrighteousness, Christ will not have died for him in vain.—The Review and Herald, February 27, 1900. 7ABC 480.4

“In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God [mark the words], to make reconciliation for the sins of the people,” through the atonement. The repenting sinner is to believe in Christ as his personal Saviour. This is his only hope. He may lay hold on the merits of the blood of Christ, presenting to God the crucified and risen Saviour as his worthiness. Thus through Christ's offering of Himself, the innocent for the guilty, every obstruction is removed, and the pardoning love of God flows forth in rich streams of mercy to fallen man.—Letter 91, 1895. 7ABC 480.5

As we acknowledge before God our appreciation of Christ's merits, fragrance is given to our intercessions. Oh, who can value this great mercy and love. As we approach God through the virtue of Christ's merits, we are clothed with His priestly vestments. He places us close by His side, encircling us with His human arm, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. He puts His merits, as sweet incense, in a censer in their hands, in order to encourage their petitions. He promises to hear and answer their supplications.—Letter 22, 1898. 7ABC 480.6

Today He [Christ] is making an atonement for us before the Father. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Pointing to the palms of His hands, pierced by the fury and prejudice of wicked men, He says of us, “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands” [Isaiah 49:16]. The Father bows in recognition of the price paid for humanity, and the angels approach the cross of Calvary with reverence. What a sacrifice is this! Who can fathom it! It will take the whole of eternity for man to understand the plan of redemption. It will open to him line upon line, here a little and there a little.—Manuscript 21, 1895. 7ABC 481.1