The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe.
And all that He endured–the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutter-able anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face — speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son
of God consents to bear this burden of guilt . . .
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions (rebellions and revolt). Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity (perversities, mischief), and cleanse me from my sin (side slip, habitual failures) . . . .
Hide Thy Face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit (mind) within me. cast me not away from Thy Presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy Salvation (deliverance, freedom, liberty); and uphold me . . . !”
Psalm 51:1-2, 9-12
“There are many whose hearts are no more deeply stirred by the humiliation and death of Christ than by the death of the martyrs of Jesus. Many have suffered death by slow tortures, and some by crucifixion. In what does the death of God’s dear Son differ from these? It is true that He died upon the cross a most cruel death; yet others for His sake have suffered equally, so far as bodily torture is concerned.
Why, then, was the suffering of Christ more dreadful than that of other persons who have yielded their lives for His sake? Had His suffering consisted in bodily pain alone, then His death was no more painful than that of some of the martyrs; but bodily pain was only a small part of the agony of the beloved Son of God, as He hung upon the cross.
The sins of the world were upon Him, and also the sense of His Father’s wrath against the sinner, as He suffered the penalty of the law. It was these that crushed His Divine soul. It was the hiding of His Father’s Face, a feeling that His own dear Father had forsaken Him as He drank the cup which the sinner so richly merited, that brought despair to His soul.
The separation that sin makes (even the smallest sin) between God and man was fully realized and keenly felt by the innocent, suffering Man of Calvary. He was oppressed by the powers of darkness, and had not one ray of light to brighten the future. His mental agony on this account was so great that man can have but a faint conception of it.”
– Bible Echo, January 1, 1887 par. 9
“The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe.
And all that He endured — the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face–speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee !
. . . that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. He who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee, who opened blind eyes and called forth the dead to life,–offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice, and this from love to thee !
He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy (my name) sake becomes sin itself. In silence the beholders watched for the end of the fearful scene. The sun shone forth; but the cross was still enveloped in darkness. Priests and rulers looked toward Jerusalem; and lo, the dense cloud had settled over the city and the plains of Judea. The Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, was withdrawing His beams from the once favored city of Jerusalem. The fierce lightnings of God’s wrath were directed against the fated city.
Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpet-like tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, “It is finished !” “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun.
He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died. Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe.
In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore (previously) given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him Whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn.
By faith, Christ was victor ! – The Desire of Ages p.756
God has given in His Word decisive evidence that He will punish the transgressors of His law. Those who flatter themselves that He is too merciful to execute justice upon the sinner, have only to look to the cross of Calvary. The death of the spotless Son of God testifies that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), that every violation of God’s law must receive its just retribution. Christ the sinless became sin for man. He bore the guilt of transgression, and the hiding of His Father’s Face, until His heart was broken and His life crushed out !
All this sacrifice was made that sinners might be Redeemed (bought back from slavery and bondage to their fallen nature). In no other way could man be freed from the penalty of sin. And every soul that refuses to become a partaker of the atonement provided at such a cost must bear in his own person the guilt and punishment
of transgression…. – The Darkness Before Dawn p.16
In His last conflict, Jesus felt the power of Satan, who declared himself superior in strength to the Son of God. He suggested that God had disowned His Son, that He was no longer in the Divine favor, but was now in the hands of His great enemy. Christ yielded not to the torturing foe, even in His bitterest anguish.
Legions of evil angels were all about Him; yet the holy angels were bidden not to break their ranks, and engage in conflict with the taunting, railing adversary (Satan and his fallen ones), nor were they permitted to minister to the anguished spirit of the Divine sufferer. It was in this terrible hour of darkness, the face of His Father hidden, legions of evil angels enshrouding Him, the sins of the world upon Him, that from His pale lips were wrenched the words, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
When the atonement (made at Calvary) is viewed correctly, when we realize the great price that has been paid to rescue sinful man from eternal death, the Salvation (deliverance, freedom, healing) of souls will be felt to be of infinite value.
In comparison with the worth of everlasting Life, everything else sinks into insignificance. But how have the counsels of our loving Saviour been despised. In many cases the heart’s devotions are given to the world, and selfish interests have closed the door against the Son of God. Hollow hypocrisy and pride, selfishness and love of gain, envy, malice, and passion, have so filled the heart that Christ can have no room.
We should take larger, broader, and deeper views of the Life, sufferings, and death of the Son of God. He was eternally rich; yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He was clothed with light and glory, surrounded with hosts of heavenly angels waiting to execute His commands; yet He put on our nature, and came to sojourn among sinful men.
“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” I John 3:1. Here is love that no language can express, the love of the Father and the Son, which should thrill our souls, and fill them with gratitude, and love, and joy.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doeth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He (Christ) is pure !” I John 3:2-3.
The followers of Christ should learn here to reflect in some degree the Divine love that has been manifested toward them, and by and by they may unite with the redeemed host in ascribing “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever !”
“Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be ! . . . . He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, Come Lord Jesus !” Revelation 5:13, 22:12,20
– Bible Echo, January 1, 1887