September 24 – 30, 2017
“And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth” (Isaiah 53:9).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 769–787; Steps to Christ, 17–22.
“Jesus did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do; and He exclaimed with His parting breath, ‘It is finished!’ ” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 167.
1 REST ON THE SABBATH
- What divine institution was hallowed at both the creation and redemption of the world, and will be hallowed throughout eternity? Genesis 2:1–3; Luke 23:54–56.
Note: “When there shall be a ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as ‘from one Sabbath to another’ (Isaiah 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” The Desire of Ages, 769, 770.
- What two influential persons took on the responsibility for the Saviour’s burial? John 19:38–42.
Note: “Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus came to the help of the disciples. Both these men were members of the Sanhedrin, and were acquainted with Pilate. Both were men of wealth and influence. They were determined that the body of Jesus should have an honorable burial.” The Desire of Ages, 773.
2 OUR ONLY HOPE
- The day after the Sabbath, when Mary came to the grave of Christ, what did she find? John 20:1.
Note: “The women who had stood by the cross of Christ waited and watched for the hours of the Sabbath to pass. On the first day of the week, very early, they made their way to the tomb, taking with them precious spices to anoint the Saviour’s body. They did not think about His rising from the dead. The sun of their hope had set, and night had settled down on their hearts. As they walked, they recounted Christ’s works of mercy and His words of comfort. But they remembered not His words, ‘I will see you again’ (John 16:22).” The Desire of Ages, 788.
- What did she do upon seeing the site at the grave? John 20:2.
- How do Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave help humanity? Romans 5:6–8; Ephesians 2:4–7.
- What is the only way that sinful humanity can be saved? John 14:6; Acts 4:8–12; 10:43.
Note: “Through Christ, restoration as well as reconciliation is provided for man. The gulf that was made by sin has been spanned by the cross of Calvary. A full, complete ransom has been paid by Jesus, by virtue of which the sinner is pardoned, and the justice of the law is maintained. All who believe that Christ is the atoning sacrifice may come and receive pardon for their sins; for through the merit of Christ, communication has been opened between God and man. God can accept me as His child, and I can claim Him and rejoice in Him as my loving Father. We must center our hopes of heaven upon Christ alone, because He is our Substitute and Surety.” The Review and Herald, July 1, 1890.
3 CHRIST AS ALL IN ALL
- After the disciples left the grave, what additional experience did Mary Magdalene, from whom Christ cast seven devils, have? John 20:10–18.
- As is seen in the need of Mary Magdalene, for what should we pray? Luke 17:5.
- How much can a sinner accomplish without Christ? John 15:5; 2Corinthians 4:7.
Note: “Of himself, what can man accomplish in the great work set forth by the infinite God? Christ says: ‘Without Me ye can do nothing’ (John 15:5). He came to our world to show men how to do the work given them by God, and He says to us: ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28–30). Why is Christ’s yoke easy and His burden light? Because He bore the weight of it upon the cross of Calvary.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 247.
“Man can accomplish nothing without Jesus, and yet it is so arranged in the plan of salvation, that its great object cannot be consummated without human cooperation. Our work may appear small and unimportant, and yet we are laborers together with God. Jesus has given us every temporal and spiritual blessing; He died to make propitiation for our sins and to reconcile us to God. He has sent forth light and truth, that we should walk in the beams of the Sun of righteousness, and not in the sparks of our own kindling.” The Review and Herald, November 1, 1892.
“O, that all might realize that without Christ they can do nothing! Those who do not gather with Him scatter abroad. Their thoughts and actions will not bear the right character, and their influence will be destructive of good. Our actions have a twofold influence; for they affect others as well as ourselves. This influence will either be a blessing or a curse to those with whom we associate.” Christian Education, 92.
4 YIELDING OUR WILL TO HIM
- How did the experience of the disciples after the cross as shown in John 20 and 21 prepare them for the great work ahead?
Note: “In order for us to reach this high ideal, that which causes the soul to stumble must be sacrificed. It is through the will that sin retains its hold upon us. The surrender of the will is represented as plucking out the eye or cutting off the hand. Often it seems to us that to surrender the will to God is to consent to go through life maimed or crippled. But it is better, says Christ, for self to be maimed, wounded, crippled, if thus you may enter into life. That which you look upon as disaster is the door to highest benefit.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 61.
- If we will be the disciples of Christ today, what position must He take in our life? Colossians 1:27.
Note: “When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.
- In order to have the risen Saviour living in us, what must we do? 1John 2:15; James 4:4.
Note: “The true followers of Christ will have sacrifices to make. They will shun places of worldly amusement because they find no Jesus there—no influence which will make them heavenly-minded and increase their growth in grace. Obedience to the word of God will lead them to come out from all these things and be separate. …
“The great Head of the church, who has chosen His people out of the world, requires them to be separate from the world. He designs that the spirit of His commandments, by drawing His followers to Himself, shall separate them from worldly elements.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 328, 329.
5 VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST
- Why did John write his gospel? John 20:30, 31; 21:24, 25.
- What are some of the ways in which God speaks to man? John 16:13; 2Timothy 3:15–17.
- In what terms did Christ state that our ability to know the truth is dependent upon our willingness to obey the will of God? John 7:17.
- What will we be called if we will believe in the saving grace of the risen Saviour? 1John 3:1, 2.
Note: “In the gracious blessings which our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us we may discern innumerable evidences of a love that is infinite, and a tender pity surpassing a mother’s yearning sympathy for her wayward child. When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. In the language of John we exclaim: ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God’ (1 John 3:1). We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God and God to man. … The reflected light from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! ye penitent and believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 461, 462.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What institution did Christ hallow even during the experience of Calvary? 2 What is the only way that I can be saved? 3 What work has Christ done for me through the experience of the cross? 4 Have I yielded completely to Christ? 5 What joy awaits the sons and daughters of God?
Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.