Lesson 18 | Sabbath, 30 April 2022
“Keep before the people the cross of Calvary. Show what caused the death of Christ–the transgression of the law. Let not sin be cloaked or treated as a matter of little consequence. It is to be presented as guilt against the Son of God. Then point the people to Christ, telling them that immortality comes only through receiving Him as their personal Saviour. Arouse the people to see how far they have departed from the Lord’s ordinances by adopting worldly policy and conforming to worldly principles. These have brought them into transgression of God’s law.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 54.
1. According to prophecy, what wonderful mission was the Saviour to perform for suffering humanity? What does the New Testament call the message that Isaiah describes as “good tidings”?
Isaiah 61:1-3 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Luke 4:17-19 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all man- ner of disease among the people.
“The work and mission of Christ in this world was not to gratify the idle curiosity of princes, rulers, scribes, priests, or peasants. He came to heal the brokenhearted…. Could Christ have spoken any word to heal the bruises of sin-sick souls, He would not have kept silent. But the precious gems of truth, He had instructed His disciples, were not to be cast before swine. And Christ’s deportment and silence before Herod made His silence eloquent.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 270.
“Before sin created the need, God had provided the remedy. Every soul that yields to temptation is wounded, bruised, by the adversary; but whenever there is sin, there is the Saviour. It is Christ’s work ‘to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives,… to set at liberty them that are bruised.’ Luke 4:18.” –Education, p. 113.
THE CORNERSTONE IN ZION
2. On what solid foundation did the Lord place Zion, where the spiritual church and each individual’s building will stand immovable?
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Psalm 118:22, 23 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. 23This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
Luke 20:17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
“Centuries before the Saviour’s advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel’s salvation. The psalmist had sung of ‘the Rock of my strength.’ Isaiah had written, ‘Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.’ Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 62:7; Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, ‘If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.’ 1 Peter 2:3-5, R.V.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 413.
3. Were the Saviour’s enemies able to recognize His merits for the great benefit of humanity? What would they say about Him?
Psalms 89:51; 74:22 Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O Lord; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed…. 74:22Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.
Matthew 26:64, 65 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
“Because He did not come with all the majesty of a king, they utterly refused Him. But it was not simply because He did not come in splendor that they refused Him. It was because He was the embodiment of purity, and they were impure. He walked the earth a man of spotless integrity. Such a character in the midst of degradation and evil, was out of harmony with their desires, and He was abused and despised. His spotless life flashed light upon the hearts of men, and discovered iniquity to them in its odious character.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 407.
“Had the profession of the Jewish leaders been genuine, they would have received John’s testimony and accepted Jesus as the Messiah. But they did not show the fruits of repentance and righteousness. The very ones whom they despised were pressing into the kingdom of God before them.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 278.
THE PRICE OF BETRAYAL
4. Besides the terrible fact that someone would betray and sell the Messiah, what else did prophecy relate exactly?
Zechariah 11:12, 13 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.
Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
“Judas knew how anxious they were to obtain Jesus and offered to betray Him to the chief priests and elders for a few pieces of silver. His love of money led him to agree to betray his Lord into the hands of His bitterest enemies. Satan was working directly through Judas, and in the midst of the impressive scene of the last supper, the traitor was devising plans to betray his Master. Jesus sorrowfully told His disciples that all of them would be offended because of Him that night.” –Early Writings, p. 166.
“Eagerly grasping the robe of Caiaphas, he implored him to release Jesus, declaring that He had done nothing worthy of death. Caiaphas angrily shook him off, but was confused, and knew not what to say. The perfidy of the priests was revealed. It was evident that they had bribed the disciple to betray his Master.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 721.
5. What did the Lord endure in silence and with dignity? What made it possible for Him to do this?
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
Matthew 26:67, 68 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
“It was to bring the bread of life to His enemies that our Saviour left His home in heaven. Though calumny and persecution were heaped upon Him from the cradle to the grave, they called forth from Him only the expression of forgiving love. Through the prophet Isaiah He says, ‘I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and spitting.’ ‘He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.’ Isaiah 50:6; 53:7. And from the cross of Calvary there come down through the ages His prayer for His murderers and the message of hope to the dying thief.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 71.
CONSEQUENCES OF CRUELTY AND INJUSTICE
6. One day what will be seen by those who whipped, slapped, and pierced the Saviour? What does prophecy say will then change in their attitude?
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
John 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
“In prophetic vision Zechariah was shown that day of final triumph; and he beheld also the doom of those who at the first advent had rejected Christ: ‘They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.’ Zechariah 12:10. This scene Christ foresaw when He beheld the city and wept over it. In the temporal ruin of Jerusalem He saw the final destruction of that people who were guilty of the blood of the Son of God.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 580.
“We must hide self in Jesus, and let Him appear in our character and conversation. While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like Him. Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize our Redeemer, and the salvation He has wrought out for us at such a cost to Himself.” –(Signs of the Times, March 17, 1887) Lift Him Up, p. 233.
7. What will take the place of the enormous unjust actions against God’s Son?
Zechariah 12:11-14; 13:1 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 14All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart…. 13:1In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the in- habitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
“As God by Joel commanded, when the great day of God should be at hand, it produced a rending of hearts and not of garments, and a turning unto the Lord with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. As God said by Zechariah, a spirit of grace and supplication was poured out upon His children; they looked to Him whom they had pierced, there was a great mourning in the land,… and those who were looking for the Lord afflicted their souls before Him.” –The Great Controversy, p. 401.
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“The Jews looked for the Messiah to break the oppressor’s yoke, yet they cherished the sins that had bound it upon their necks. Had Christ cloaked their sins and applauded their piety, they would have accepted Him as their king; but they would not bear His fearless rebuke of their vices. The loveliness of a character in which benevolence, purity, and holiness reigned supreme, which entertained no hatred except for sin, they despised. Thus it has been in every age of the world. The light from heaven brings condemnation on all who refuse to walk in it. When rebuked by the example of those who hate sin, hypocrites will become agents of Satan to harass and persecute the faithful. ‘All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ 2 Timothy 3:12.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 607.
MISSIONARY REPORT FROM THE GENERAL CONFERENCE MULTIMEDIA DEPARTMENT
To be read on Sabbath, April 30, 2022
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, May 7, 2022
Dear brothers, sisters, and friends of the truth,
“… Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2.
The pioneers in Adventism understood that this Bible verse refers to visual aids illustrating the message and making it easier to understand. At that time, charts fulfilled this purpose. Today multimedia provide information to the world.
The church has one mission–to spread the gospel. The warnings contained in the three angels’ messages must reach the ends of the world before Christ will come again. Today, as never before, this is possible through the multimedia outreach. The widespread use of cell phones, tablets, and other multimedia devices has made it possible for programs containing Bible truth to reach every person instantaneously, no matter how far he or she may be from a church.
During the time when movement was restricted because of the emergency COVID-19 measures, millions of people stayed home, using the Internet to obtain information and enjoy spiritual connections. The church adapted quickly to this new situation, and hundreds of programs were created by the fields and unions. Hundreds of thousands of people were reached by these programs. Seminars and symposia were conducted in and broadcast from the multimedia studio at the General Conference. More than two million hits were recorded from these broadcasts throughout 2020. We have never been so efficient in spreading our message as occurred during the COVID-19 crisis. We thank all of the multimedia teams that have worked tirelessly to produce these programs.
The equipment used in multimedia studios in the past was very expensive, and we could not even dream of having a well-equipped broadcast studio at the General Conference headquarters. However, today the prices have become much more affordable, and we are able to create and send out not only weekly but even daily programs, spreading the precious message of salvation to a perishing world. In addition, multimedia materials such as video recordings are being used in our online schools. More educational seminars and symposia for workers and ministers are needed. Even now, the members may enjoy daily programs for worship and a library of sermons and seminars published on the General Conference website, www.sda1844.org.
You may have a part in this work–even if you do not have multimedia equipment or broadcasting experience–by donating your funds. Your support of the Multimedia Department is very important. May God bless every cheerful, generous giver.
–Pastor Tzvetan Petkov
General Conference President