"Our Substitute and Surety"

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Behold the Son of God suffering on the cross for three terrible hours of agony, enduring the penalty of the transgression of the law, that repentant, believing ones may have eternal life. In the darkest hour, when Christ was enduring the greatest suffering that Satan could bring to torture His humanity, His Father hid from Him His face of love, comfort, and pity. In this trial His heart broke. He cried, “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” [Matthew 26:46]. – {12MR 407.2}

As He hung upon the cross, angels gathered about the divine Sufferer. As they looked upon their loved Commander, and heard His cry, they asked with intense emotion, “Will not the Lord Jehovah save Him? Shall not that soul-piercing cry of God’s only begotten Son prevail?” We ask, What if it had? What if the world had been left to perish with its accumulation of guilt, while the Commander of all heaven again took up His kingly crown and royal robe, leaving an ungrateful, unappreciative people to perish in their sins? – {12MR 407.3}

Not long before this, He said, “Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour” [John 12:27]. What melting, heart-stirring words. “Father, glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.” The Father responded to this request. “Then came a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” [verse 28]. – {12MR 407.4}

As the angels beheld the overmastering anguish of the Son of God, the words were spoken, “The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent.” Father and Son have clasped their hands, and are mutually pledged to fulfill the terms of the everlasting covenant, to give fallen man another chance. – {12MR 408.1}

Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished,” cried out with a loud voice, “It is finished.” The work that Thou gavest Me is accomplished. Thus He gave His dying testimony to men and angels that the work He came to earth to do was to save a perishing world by His death. – {12MR 408.2}

When Christ spoke these words, He addressed His Father. Christ was not alone in making this great sacrifice. It was the fulfillment of the covenant made between the Father and the Son before the foundation of the earth was laid. With clasped hands they entered into the solemn pledge that Christ would become the substitute and surety for the human race if they were overcome by Satan’s sophistry. The compact was now being fully consummated. The climax was reached. Christ had the consciousness that He had fulfilled to the letter the pledge He had made. In death He was more than conqueror. The redemption price has been paid. His right hand and His glorious holy arm have gotten Him the victory. – {12MR 408.3}

When He uttered the cry, “It is finished,” Christ knew that the battle was won. As a moral conqueror, He planted His banner on the eternal heights. Was there not joy among the angels? Not a son, not a daughter of Adam, but could now lay hold on the merits of the spotless Son of God, and say, Christ has died for me. He is my Saviour. The blood that speaketh better things than that of Abel has been shed. – {12MR 408.4}

The darkness rolled away from the Saviour and from the cross. Christ bowed His head and died. In His incarnation He had reached the prescribed limit as a sacrifice, but not as a Redeemer. The controversy in regard to the rebellion was answered. The human race has an open door set before them. “These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” [Revelation 3:7]. – {12MR 409.1}

When Christ cried, “It is finished,” God’s unseen hand rent the strong fabric composing the veil of the Temple from top to bottom. The way into the Holiest of all was made manifest. God bowed His head satisfied. Now His justice and mercy could blend. He could be just, and yet the justifier of all who should believe on Christ. He 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. – {12MR 409.2}

Look at the superscription written above the cross. The Lord arranged it. Written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, it is a call for all, Jew and Gentile, barbarian and Scythian, bond and free, hopeless, helpless, and perishing, to come. Christ has made of none effect the power of Satan. He laid hold of the pillars of Satan’s kingdom, and passed through the conflict, destroying him that had the power of death. A way was now opened whereby mercy and truth could meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other. By His death Christ perfected forever them that are sanctified. This enabled Him to proclaim with a triumphant voice on the cross of Calvary, “It is finished.” – {12MR 409.3

Manuscript Releases, Vol. 12, Ellen G. White, 1993, pg. 407-409


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