The Cross of Jesus from the Wilderness to Calvary

By John Thiel mp3 The Power of the Cross 2014

Scripture Reading: Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger. 

The appreciation of the power of the cross can only be gained by the revelations of the Holy Spirit that takes of Jesus and shows Him to us. Our meditations are to follow on as we did in the journey that Jesus entered into when He left heaven. We saw it was an excruciating suffering at that time; so much so that in the beginning He was unconscious and then slowly the unfolding of the human brain as it developed from babyhood to childhood and youth to adulthood which unfolded to His understanding and appreciation to the point where He was 30 years of age. This is where we want to pick up His journey.

As the scenes are brought before us, I re-emphasise the need that we have to contemplate and appreciate this important meditation. Jesus, the Lamb of God, came to His experience where He knew who He was in fashion as a man and was obedient.

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

The meditation of this statement, even the death of the cross, raises a picture in our mind as even to the death of the cross. Can we imagine the word even trying to explain to us that this is a suffering which is equal to none other. He was obedient all the way through in His journey; He was obedient to all the things that were to happen to Him but He came to a point in time where at the cross, at Gethsemane, He came to the point where He began to remonstrate, O Lord, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Then He said, nevertheless not my will, but Thy will be done.

Let us explore the depth of this obedience; the depth of the suffering that was here revealed. We need the Holy Spirit to truly appreciate this but there is something else that we need to understand and have at this time if we want to understand and comprehend this detail that we want to comprehend today.  To have a perfect apprehension of truth is only if we keep our hearts tender and subdued by the Spirit of Christ.

Human science is too limited to comprehend the atonement. The plan of redemption is so far-reaching that philosophy cannot explain it. It will ever remain a mystery that the most profound reasoning cannot fathom. {DA 494.4}

We are trying to understand something in the contemplation of the power of the cross that philosophy cannot explain. It is such a mystery that the most profound reasoning cannot fathom.

The science of salvation cannot be explained; but it can be known by experience. {DA 494.4}

What is necessary for us to comprehend this amazing atonement sacrifice of Jesus? What is the only way by which we can know by experience?

Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour.  {DA 494.4}

The secret to comprehend what we are exploring here is that we see ourselves for the sinners we really are. Only he who can see himself a hopelessly deranged sinful person, only he can truly appreciate the preciousness of Jesus Christ.

We had a study of that at the beginning of this series where we touched on the depraved human condition. If we are under the Laodicean thought patterns, can we comprehend? What is written about Laodicea? You say you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. Can the Laodicean comprehend the preciousness of the Saviour? He has no sense of his sinful nature, but those people who buy of Jesus eye salve, they will then see their terrible condition and then they will be able to appreciate and comprehend the amazing atonement experience of Jesus.

I just spent a moment to prepare our mind here because we need to see that as we contemplate the journey of Jesus as He arrives in the wilderness experience after 30 years of age where His spiritual mind has matured. That is what happens at 30 years of age; the maturing of the spiritual part of the brain. Now He is called to enter into His ministry. There at the beginning of the ministry when He was baptised, He entered into a ministry of suffering which He never felt before. What was the suffering that He entered into which was something He never had to such a degree before? It is written we must not enter into temptation. To be tempted is one thing but to enter into temptation that is something reprehensible. Did Jesus have to meet someone who entered into temptation in His own journey and experience?

A Ministry of Suffering

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

What was that? He entered into the wilderness to enter into temptation. He didn’t do that on His own volition; He was led of the Spirit to be tempted of the devil. In His journey, He had to meet the experience of people who enter into temptation.

Matthew 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Our meditation here is to try to comprehend the cross of Jesus, the suffering of Jesus. In these short words, unless you meditate under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you think all right, He was tempted. But here He was; in those few words it says he was afterward an hungered.  What sort of a hunger was that? Forty days and forty nights with nothing to eat. This was a hunger that is described in the Scriptures that it affected Him to such a degree that His visage was marred more than any man’s. The physical frame has been so depleted of life giving energy that it was severe. He was hungering with great severity and with great affect upon His body. Now comes the tempter as an angel. He comes to this poor shrivelled up man and says, are you the Son of God? Can you place yourself into the suffering of Jesus here? He was made to be sin for us. According to the words of the Spirit of Prophecy we actually observe that in the wilderness this reality became very clear to Him.

When Adam was assailed by the tempter in Eden he was without the taint of sin. {5BC 1081.5}

He was healthy and fresh from the hand of God.

He stood in the strength of his perfection before God. All the organs and faculties of his being were equally developed, and harmoniously balanced. {5BC 1081.5}

What now with Jesus?

Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed.  {5BC 1081.6}

There was four thousand years of degeneracy from the time of Adam’s beautiful body. Not only that, but after 40 days of not eating anything what do you think that body was doing to Him? Meditate.

In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him (RH July 28, 1874).  {5BC 1081.7}

In Christ’s journey having come to the years of spiritual maturity, He now comes into something which in His mind He had never fully experienced; a spiritual contrast. He who knew no sin spiritually was made to be sin for us. As His body was craving for nutrition, can you imagine what was going on in His system? It was extreme hunger with a body that was four thousand years degenerated from Adam’s perfect body. Can you see the contrast? Adam in his prime condition fresh from the hand of God, Satan comes and tempts him and he falls. Here Jesus is four thousand years after not only in a condition of human degeneracy of those four thousand years but now in a degenerated state of fasting for forty days. Can He reach any lower? We will see at the end of the study, even lower, but here we have something to consider.  Let us consider what it actually means for Jesus to be made to be sin for us. What does that involve?

Adam was tempted by the enemy, and he fell. It was not indwelling sin which caused him to yield; {ST, October 17, 1900 par. 10}

Did Adam have a body of sin? It was not indwelling sin that caused him to yield.

….for God made him pure and upright, in His own image. He was as faultless as the angels before the throne. There were in him no corrupt principles, no tendencies to evil. ST, October 17, 1900 par. 10}

Did you see what Sr. White just did? She just brought out what Adam was like. In him there were no corrupt principles, no tendencies to evil. Then she uses the word but.

But when Christ came to meet the temptations of Satan, He bore “the likeness of sinful flesh.” In the wilderness, weakened physically by a fast of forty days, He met His adversary. His dignity was questioned, His authority disputed, His allegiance to His Father assailed by the fallen foe.  {ST, October 17, 1900 par. 10}

Did you notice what the Spirit of Prophecy is suggesting here? She says but in contrast to Adam in whom there was no corrupt principles, no tendencies to evil.

Christ in the temptation bore the likeness of sinful flesh. Was there in His body some corrupt principles, some tendencies to evil? Sr. White just contrasted Him from Adam in whom there was no principles of corruption, no tendencies to evil. Was there in the body of Jesus after forty days of not eating let alone four thousand years of degeneracy, was there something in His body that would cause Him to fall for a temptation? This is for us to meditate about as we consider His sufferings. Mark here that it’s talking about His flesh in Him not His mind. His mind was one which knew no sin but His flesh was racked with four thousand years of sin and a degenerate body of forty days without eating. After fasting for forty days and nights, what effect will that body have upon His mind? The flesh in its most extreme suffering would be saying hey you, mind I want something; I am really craving for life, I am dying here.

When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the Father’s glory. Absorbed in communion with God, He was lifted above human weakness. But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with temptation. {DA 118.1}

Now the glory of the sense of His Father was gone and He was left to battle with temptation.

It was pressing upon Him every moment. His human nature shrank from the conflict that awaited Him. For forty days He fasted and prayed. Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” Isaiah 52:14. Now was Satan’s opportunity. Now he supposed that he could overcome Christ.  {DA 118.1}

That makes a lot of sense; Satan knew that He was so weak now and now he is going to put Him through the worst mental torture as Jesus was so hungry.

There came to the Saviour, as if in answer to His prayers, one in the guise of an angel from heaven. {DA 118.2}

We often don’t think about that; Lucifer didn’t come as the ugly creature that people paint him to be, he was a mighty angel from heaven. This struck Jesus as the flesh would think I have help now. I am craving from hunger.

It was in the time of greatest weakness that Christ was assailed by the fiercest temptations.  {DA 120.2} 

What sort of weakness? It was the greatest weakness.

Thus Satan thought to prevail. By this policy he had gained the victory over men.   {DA 120.2} 

All the holy men in the past when they were in their weakest state he prevailed.

When strength failed, and the will power weakened, and faith ceased to repose in God, then those who had stood long and valiantly for the right were overcome.

She cites Moses after forty years in the wilderness and Elijah who had stood undaunted before King Ahab who had faced a whole nation of Israel with 450 prophets of Baal at their head and how he fled for his life at Jezebel’s threat.

Thus Satan has taken advantage of the weakness of humanity. And he will still work in the same way. Whenever one is encompassed with clouds, perplexed by circumstances, or afflicted by poverty or distress, Satan is at hand to tempt and annoy. He attacks our weak points of character. He seeks to shake our confidence in God, who suffers such a condition of things to exist. .  {DA 120.2} 

Here is Jesus; why am I going through this terrible thing and here is an angel of light that comes at the weakest moment that others have fallen in, even the men of God have fallen. He comes to Jesus now and says, you, are you the Son of God?  Look at you, you weak depraved soul. With that upon the mind of Jesus who is devout in His Father’s fellowship and now stands alone, He has to suffer this experience.

Whatever injures the health, not only lessens physical vigor, but tends to weaken the mental and moral powers. {MH 128.3}

Was Jesus in the prime of physical health in the wilderness after forty days of not eating? He had been weakened; His health had been weakened, His body had been weakened and it weakened what? Not only physical vigour but mental and moral powers are weakened. There was Jesus in such a state. Hence Christ in reality endured what the weakest soul in moral power has to endure. He couldn’t have gone any lower in moral power. When a person is in such a weak state can he survive? Jesus did. What must happen?

As the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.–Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 331-333.  {RC 298.5}

Jesus although in the weakest state still had the will; the mental and moral powers had been weakened because of His body being so low. He had a will that relied on the will of the Father, then it becomes omnipotent. The reason why Jesus conquered these temptations there was a will inside of Him that chose to rely on the will of God. The will of God became omnipotent to Him. You and I are called upon to enter into this journey of conquering together with Jesus. It was the power of God that stepped in to help Jesus and it’s the power of God that will step in to help us when we are severely tempted. If my will decides to submit to Him then my will becomes omnipotent. Here is the power of the cross. That is what our study is all about, the omnipotent power during this terrible low time.

No matter how sinful, no matter how weak we are, there is no reason why we should be lost if we will follow the example of Jesus in the weakest moments. Step into His footprints. No matter how weak we are we can step into the footprints because Jesus was there on the journey at the weakest moments of our lives. Here is the power of the cross. That is the preciousness of the understanding of Christ’s cross when we feel weak and we can hardly lift ourselves the will is to co-operate with the will of God and it becomes omnipotent as it did with Christ. There, as we see, is the beginning of Christ’s ministry. It was the beginning of His ministry to the sin-struck weakened sinful soul. He says look I am showing you the way. That was the beginning of His ministry.

Put yourself into the experience of Jesus. Here was this mighty angel coming to help Him; an angel from heaven. Jesus is marred more than any human being and the angel says to Him come on I am going to help you here. See those stones? You are the Son of God, make them into bread. The body is craving from hunger and the suggestion that are you the Son of God, you poor shrivelled up old man? What does human nature do? It tries to prove something. That was human sinful flesh; it wanted to prove itself. No. Jesus answered a thus saith the Lord from the Bible that man shall not live my bread alone. Jesus conquered that one but then in His weakened condition, can you imagine this mighty angel picks Him up in his arms and his powerful wings take Him up into the sky and he flies towards Jerusalem and there on the pinnacle of the temple? Can you imagine the sensation of sinful flesh that is now being touched by Satan? This is an amazing experience of being exhilarated by this strong energy flying Him up into the sky. He could have been tempted to think maybe this is the angel that’s helping me. As he puts Him up on the pinnacle he says, if you are the Son of God and you have just quoted Scripture now I am going to quote to you. You can throw yourself down because the angels will look after you. Come on, plunge. Of course again Jesus has to meet the temptation with it is written that you shall not tempt the Lord thy God. But that is not the end now. He has conquered him twice but now he takes Him again into his arms and picks Him up and carries Him to a fantastic lofty mountain.

Have you ever been up on a high mountain and you look down at the panoramic view and you say wow! Satan knows exactly how to tantalise the senses, both in flying and in the exhilarating sense of the panorama; he shows Him the panorama of the world. Let your mind comprehend this; all this panorama of the glory of this world that is shining out in front of you, you can have it all you don’t have to suffer the way you are. Why do you want to get it by suffering? I will give it to you, just bow down and worship me and you can have it. The sensation, the temptation that in which the weakened human will, could succumb is here revealed in Jesus Christ that He relies on the power of God that makes His will omnipotent and He says get thee behind me Satan because it is written only one are we to worship. This is the experience of one who is marred more than any other man is marred.

Once again only he who sees his own sinfulness can appreciate what Jesus was going through. When we feel so humanly depraved by the weaknesses of our past life that has made us weak and incapable we look at Jesus and we see here is help in the atonement. As you continue to see Him thereafter He comes back out of the wilderness and He begins His ministry. He is continually harassed by the scholars, the leading men of the church.

Matthew 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in [his] talk.

Scholars who are capable psychologists as well as knowledgeable in the word of God are there harassing Jesus, working to entangle Him in whatever He says and does to try to trip Him up. Can you identify in today’s circumstances of religion. I can identify with this one very well. How many times I have been worked upon by those who thought they knew better than me and knew better than God’s own word said. Jesus was suffering excruciatingly because He was a person who was social; He was a person who loved to communicate with fellow human beings. Do you remember at the age of twelve He was talking with these men and asking them questions then answering different things?

Luke 20:20-And they watched [him], and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. 21 And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person [of any], but teachest the way of God truly:

Have you ever been flattered by somebody like that? These people were there to trip Jesus up in His words, to make it look as if they were especially holy men who were only there for His happiness and well-being. You are really the man that the people are looking for. They were flattering Him, using NLP. This is what is happening today, NLP, Neuro-linguistic Programming. Jesus was being worked upon by these people.

Luke 20:23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?

Was He suffering temptation? You can see it.

Luke 20:24 Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. 25 and he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.  26 And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

Everything was against Him, temptation after temptation after temptation. They marvelled at His answer. Where did His answer come from? He was obedient unto death even the death of the cross. He was dependent on His Father and His Father was the one who gave Him the wisdom.

As we go through our experiences, remember the words of Jesus; when you go before the people don’t try to prepare yourself I will give you the words to speak. To meet these harassments and these temptations God’s omnipotent power would be there to help as He did with Jesus, but He was obedient to those words. Do you remember Moses? He was always humble and obedient but then when the people harassed him too much he finally hit the rock instead of speaking to it. That is what Jesus could have done; He could have let them have it. Have you been tempted to let people have it who are harassing you? This is Jesus; He met that and He relied on His Father and He was obedient to the suggestions of His Father.

His own disciples that followed Him, there was more than twelve; they left Him. If you are a person who enjoys the support of human beings around you; we like to get the feeling of support of those who are one with us, those that were His disciples; they left Him and now listen to His heart’s cry.

John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

Can you hear His heart’s cry? All that was left now was the twelve. He longed like every human being does for supporters who were with Him. How do we feel sometimes? There are only a few left, do we feel like going away? The yearning of Christ is there and He is suffering then that beautiful answer came.

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

That was a comfort for a while but He knew ahead of time because what happened later on when Judas denied Him and the people came to take Him at the time of Calvary?

Matthew 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out [his] hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

In verse 56 the twelve also left Him and He was left totally alone and Peter denied Him. All this; what sort of a suffering did Jesus go through? That suffering was much less than the one in Matthew 26:36-44.

Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].

Now is an experience that He is meeting that is worse than anything He has ever met before in His journey. Now He is beginning to remonstrate according to His suffering. O my Father, if it be possible, can it be removed, this is too much? But no, He is obedient unto death even the death of the cross. Not as I will but as Thou wilt. He was sorrowful. What was He experiencing? What was His journey into this horrifying experience? Why was He crying out, Lord, don’t let this go on? As He was suffering like this He came to His disciples to whom He was looking for support. What did He find?

Matthew 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

Can you hear His cry here? Then He felt sorry for them.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

I know you don’t want to do this but look, I need your support and you need to pray. This is all sad, sad loneliness. What, could you not have watched? I need some support, but there was none.

Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Now notice in His extreme suffering.

Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Here is something to consider. An angel after Jesus had just prayed can this be removed from me? The angel came along and there was a temptation maybe for Jesus to think His prayer had been answered, but no, the angel didn’t come to remove Him from the suffering he came to strengthen Him for Him to go through the suffering. There is so much to meditate about. You can’t escape you have to go through with this, it is God’s will; be obedient unto death even the death of the cross. I am here to help you, get on with it, don’t give up. Who do you think that angel was? It was Gabriel; the one with whom He was working all through the past history and now he came there to say come on, this is what it was all about. You have to go through with this.

Throughout His life on earth He had walked in the light of God’s presence. When in conflict with men who were inspired by the very spirit of Satan, He could say, “He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29. But now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God’s sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. {DA 685.2}

If you are numbered with the transgressor what does that make you? Jesus was numbered there as one of them.

The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father’s love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”  {DA 685.2}

That is what the sorrow was about. This is the scene that we are contemplating that there at Gethsemane He felt that the wrath of God against the guilt of sin that He was experiencing as His own, numbered with the transgressors; that He would be forever shut out from God. It was excruciating to Him that is why He said Father it’s impossible, but not my will but Thine be done. What is the suffering here? What is the actual suffering that we are trying to comprehend?

The weight of the sins of the world was pressing His soul, and His countenance expressed unutterable sorrow, a depth of anguish that fallen man had never realized. He felt the overwhelming tide of woe that deluged the world. He realized the strength of indulged appetite and of unholy passion that controlled the world, which had brought upon man inexpressible suffering. {1SM 271.1}

Inexpressible sufferings of indulged appetite and passion that affects men at the end as it does in the plagues, Jesus felt all that. When you meditate on what is written that the weight of the sins of the world were so heavily upon Him, that unholy passion indulged, appetite indulged is what Jesus felt. He didn’t just feel the guilt in general, He felt as though He had indulged in it. That is what we are told here. As we contemplate all this let’s contemplate some more.

Imagine, if possible, the nature and degree of Christ’s sufferings. This suffering in humanity was to prevent the outpouring of the wrath of God upon the whole of those for whom Christ died. Yea, for the church this great sacrifice will be efficacious throughout eternity. Can we compute the amount of her transgression in figures? {HP 42.4}

Can you compute all the sins that have ever been indulged in?

Impossible. Then who can approach unto a conception of what Christ has endured when standing in the place of surety for His church? . [He was] the only One who could bear the strokes in behalf of the sinner and because of His innocence not be consumed. In the sacrifice of God’s only-begotten Son is demonstrated the awful glory of divine justice and holiness.  {HP 42.4}

Can we compute, can we understand? It is just about impossible but we can understand about what was said that Jesus met that; whatever we experience, our weakness, our indulged appetite, our indulged passions and the consequences of that. We know what it is like, now we see Jesus suffering with me.

The sword of justice was unsheathed, and the wrath of God against iniquity rested upon man’s substitute, Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father.  {5BC 1102.8}

The sword of justice was unsheathed upon Jesus. There is so much that is written about this and we are to let the imagination take hold of the scene.

Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, “Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.  {DA 686.4}

He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Now Gethsemane is over but is the cross finished with? He went to the cross and we know there He cried my God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me? The physical suffering that people often make a big issue about, Sr. White says was hardly felt in comparison with the agony and the suffering of being shut out from God. As our Scripture reading said

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger. 

The heart anguish that is contained in these words! I have come to do this for you, I was numbered with transgressors, I have suffered the anguish of indulged sin and appetite which was contrary to my mind. The extreme suffering that caused my death is it nothing to you all you that pass by? The call of Jesus’ heart is there to captivate us to fill us with a determination that we will conquer as Jesus conquered even though we have fallen in the past.

How few have any conception of the anguish which rent the heart of the Son of God during His thirty years of life upon earth. The path from the manger to Calvary was shadowed by sorrow and grief. He was the Man of Sorrows, and endured such heartache as no human language can portray. He could have said in truth, “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow” (Lamentations 1:12). His suffering was the deepest anguish of the soul; and what man could have sympathy with the soul anguish of the Son of the infinite God? Hating sin with a perfect hatred, He yet gathered to His soul the sins of the whole world, as He trod the path to Calvary, suffering the penalty of the transgressor. Guiltless, He bore the punishment of the guilty; innocent, yet offering Himself to bear the penalty of the transgression of the law of God. The punishment of the sins of every soul was borne by the Son of the infinite God. The guilt of every sin pressed its weight upon the divine soul of the world’s Redeemer. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. In assuming the nature of man, He placed Himself where He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, that by His stripes we might be healed.  {TMK 66.2}

No human appeal can equal the appeal that the words that Jesus uttered in Lamentations.  Is it nothing to you? After you have contemplated and seen your own sinfulness and my reception of your sinfulness upon me, is it nothing to you? Will we not sacrifice everything and be willing to submit ourselves and be obedient to God as Jesus was unto death? This is our redemption; this is how we shall stand as the 144,000 in these last horrible times of earth’s history where Jesus said if you will overcome as I overcame you will sit with me in my throne even as I overcame and sit with my Father in His throne. May these appeals be powerful to cause us to sacrifice all because He has sacrificed all for us.

Amen.

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Posted on July 25, 2014, in The Power of the Cross. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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