The Signs of the Times



January 4, 1899

The Worth of Redemption

[One of the founders of The Signs of the Times.]


Our Saviour compared the blessing of redeeming love to a pearl of great price. He illustrated this truth by the parable of a merchantman seeking goodly pearls, “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” ST January 4, 1899, par. 1

Christ is the Pearl of great price. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In Eden, before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen worlds, and before Satanic agencies, God declared that the eternal Son was to be given as the ransom for a fallen world. The Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, and it should bruise His heel. ST January 4, 1899, par. 2

And “when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son.” God's wrath against sin must be exhausted. The punishment for sin must be borne. Having taken a survey of all that would be required of Him, Christ summed up the guilt to be canceled. He then gathered the entire responsibility to His heart, and bent His whole being to the task. He clothed His divinity with humanity, and as our Substitute and Surety, prepared Himself for the sword that was to smite Him. “For their sakes,” He declared, “I sanctify Myself,” in fulfilment of the covenant made before the foundations of the world were laid. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Christ died that He might bring life and immortality to light. Thou, O Lamb of God, didst come to offer Thyself as a living sacrifice, withdrawing Thyself from the heavenly universe, and setting Thyself apart to make a complete offering! “Therefore doth My Father love Me,” He said, “because I lay down My life, that I might take it again.” ST January 4, 1899, par. 3

The crucifixion of Christ took place at the celebration of the Passover. At this time people from all parts of the world were assembled at Jerusalem. Representatives from foreign courts, kings, noblemen, princes, men who exerted a wide influence, witnessed the scenes of Christ's death. “Lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marveled; they were troubled, and hasted away.” It was then that Jehovah struck a blow that was felt to the remotest parts of the earth. The tidings of Christ's death were carried by strangers to every part of the world. ST January 4, 1899, par. 4

This is the vital, all-absorbing truth on which God would have men in all ages fix their attention. He would have the death of His Son the great center of attraction. When Christ came forth from the tomb, He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” This God had appointed. In His wisdom He was fulfilling His plan of infinite magnitude, the unfolding of which commenced at the fall. ST January 4, 1899, par. 5

After His resurrection Christ ascended to His appointed honor. As He rose from the earth, His hands were outstretched in blessing to His disciples. And while they stood gazing upward to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, He was received into the rejoicing throng of cherubim and seraphim. As these heavenly beings escorted their Lord to His home, they sang in triumph, “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; ... to Him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens.” ST January 4, 1899, par. 6

God desired to impress the minds of the believers with the glorious reception accorded to His Son in the home He had left. For the sake of sinful humanity, Christ had become poor, that through His poverty man might be made rich. He had now conquered the world, and His ascension to heaven was made with great honor. Commander of the heavenly host, He returned to His own dominion, amid joyful demonstrations. “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.” These escorted Him who was the resurrection and the life, together with a multitude of captives, raised from their graves to join the armies of heaven. And before the heavenly universe He was enthroned, a gracious High Priest and mighty Redeemer to all who call upon Him in truth. ST January 4, 1899, par. 7

Just before His crucifixion Christ said: “I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world can not receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” ST January 4, 1899, par. 8

This is a wonderful announcement. Christ would thus accomplish the most important work by few and simple means. The plan of redemption is comprehensive, but its parts are few, each depending on the other, and all working together in utmost simplicity and entire harmony. The Holy Spirit represents Christ. When this Spirit is appreciated, and those controlled by the Spirit communicate to others the energy with which they are imbued, an invisible chord is touched which electrifies the whole. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.” Would that we could all understand how boundless are the divine resources! ST January 4, 1899, par. 9