May 12, 2001 – May 18, 2001
“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17.
STUDY HELP: The Desire of Ages,48, 49.
“But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. ‘Afterward,’ He said, ‘shall they come out with great substance.’ Genesis 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh’s proud empire battled in vain. On ‘the self-same day’ appointed in the divine promise, ‘it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.’ Exodus 12:41. So in heaven’s council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. ‘When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.’” The Desire of Ages, 32.
“All That the Prophets Have Spoken”
When was the Redeemer first promised? Genesis 3:15.
NOTE: “To man the first intimation of redemption was communicated in the sentence pronounced upon Satan in the garden. The Lord declared, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.’ This sentence, uttered in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. While it foretold war between man and Satan, it declared that the power of the great adversary would finally be broken. Adam and Eve stood as criminals before the righteous Judge, awaiting the sentence which transgression had incurred; but before they heard of the life of toil and sorrow which must be their portion, or of the decree that they must return to dust, they listened to words that could not fail to give them hope. Tho they must suffer from the power of their mighty foe, they could look forward to final victory.” Signs of the Times, November 4, 1908.
What did God reveal concerning the coming Redeemer to the prophets? Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; Zechariah 9:9; Zechariah 11:13; Psalm 22:7, 8, 18; Psalm 69:21; Isaiah 53:3–9.
NOTE: “It is the voice of Christ that speaks through patriarchs and prophets, from the days of Adam even to the closing scenes of time. The Saviour is revealed in the Old Testament as clearly as in the New. It is the light from the prophetic past that brings out the life of Christ and the teachings of the New Testament with clearness and beauty. The miracles of Christ are a proof of His divinity; but a stronger proof that He is the world’s Redeemer is found in comparing the prophecies of the Old Testament with the history of the New.” The Desire of Ages, 799.
“In All Things Like unto His Brethren”
Why was it essential that, when Christ took upon Himself humanity, He should take the same nature as those He came to save? Hebrews 2:11, 14–18.
NOTE: “Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven, to the very threshold of glory. If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God. Therefore are we to be perfect, even as our ‘Father which is in heaven is perfect.’” The Desire of Ages, 311, 312.
What warning does John give about those who deny this truth? I John 4:1–3.
NOTE: “After the fall of man, Satan declared that human beings were proved to be incapable of keeping the law of God, and he sought to carry the universe with him in this belief. Satan’s words appeared to be true, and Christ came to unmask the deceiver. The Majesty of heaven undertook the cause of man, and with the same facilities that man may obtain, withstood the temptations of Satan as man must withstand them. This was the only way in which fallen man could become a partaker of the divine nature. In taking human nature, Christ was fitted to understand man’s trials and sorrows and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not sympathize with man in his peculiar trials. Christ condescended to take man’s nature, and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 252.
“The Time Is Fulfilled”
With what message of prophetic fulfillment did Christ begin His ministry? Mark 1:14, 15. (Read verses 9–11 and compare Daniel 9:25.)
NOTE: “The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given: ‘Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,’ sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. Daniel 9:25. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, margin), went into effect in the autumn of B.C. 457. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. ‘The time is fulfilled.’” The Desire of Ages, 233.
How did the gospel writers show their understanding that prophecy was being fulfilled? Matthew 1:22, 23; Matthew 2:14–18; Matthew 21:4, 5; Matthew 27:35; Mark 1:2.
NOTE: “The apostles also all testify to the importance of the Old Testament Scriptures. Peter says: ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ Luke thus speaks of the prophets who predicted the coming of Christ: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people; and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began.’” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 208.
“I Have Glorified Thee on the Earth”
What was the purpose of Christ’s life? John 17:4. Compare Exodus 33:18, 19; John 14:9.
NOTE: “Christ’s life was a life of pure benevolence, of disinterested labor. He assumed human nature for no other purpose than to display the glory of God in the happiness of man.” Review and Herald, March 19, 1901.
“Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 17.
Did Christ exercise powers that may not be available to His followers? John 5:19, 30; John 7:16; John 8:28; John 12:49; John 14:12.
NOTE: ‘‘‘Verily, verily, I say unto you,’ Christ continued, ‘He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” The Desire of Ages, 664.
“The Lamb of God”
Why was it necessary for Christ to die? Romans 5:6–8. Compare I John 4:10.
NOTE: “Our Saviour manifested for us a love that the love of man can never equal. When we were bruised and dying, He had pity upon us. He did not pass us by on the other side, and leave us, helpless and hopeless, to perish. He did not remain in His holy, happy home, where He was beloved by all the heavenly host. He beheld our sore need, He undertook our case, and identified His interests with those of humanity. He died to save His enemies. He prayed for His murderers. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, ‘These things I command you, that ye love one another’; ‘as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ John 15:17; 13:34.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 381, 382.
What supreme evidence of love did Christ reveal on Calvary? Luke 23:34.
NOTE: “Christ was earning the right to become the advocate for men in the Father’s presence. That prayer for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner who had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Whenever we sin, Christ is wounded afresh. For us He lifts His pierced hands before the Father’s throne, and says, ‘Forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” The Story of Jesus, 142.
“Stand before the cross and learn from it the cost of redemption. With breaking heart, the Holy Sufferer looks up to God, and cries, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ His heart was breaking under the thought of the woe that was to come upon the actors, under a sense of their ingratitude, under the weight of the sin He Himself must carry for them. No heart save His own could approach unto such sin-bearing. Amidst His agony there came from heart and lips the wonderful prayer, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” Bible Training School, July 1, 1916.
“Saved by His Life”
What did the death of Christ achieve for us? Romans 5:10, first part.
NOTE: “Jesus did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and exclaimed with His departing breath: ‘It is finished.’ Satan was then defeated. He knew that his kingdom was lost. Angels rejoiced as the words were uttered: ‘It is finished.’ The great plan of redemption, which was dependent on the death of Christ, had been thus far carried out. And there was joy in heaven that the sons of Adam could, through a life of obedience, be finally exalted to the throne of God. Oh, what love! What amazing love! that brought the Son of God to earth to be made sin for us, that we might be reconciled to God.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 211.
What will the living Saviour accomplish for His people? Romans 5:10, last part. (See also Hebrews 7:25.)
NOTE: “The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, ‘whither the forerunner is for us entered.’ Hebrews 6:20. There the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption. The salvation of man is accomplished at an infinite expense to heaven; the sacrifice made is equal to the broadest demands of the broken law of God. Jesus has opened the way to the Father’s throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God.” Great Controversy, 489.
“Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. God’s word declares, ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.’ Daniel 12:10. Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.) Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan’s devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.’ I Corinthians 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 155.