Lesson 12 | Sabbath, 21 September 2019
“The grace of Christ and the law of God are inseparable. In Jesus mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. In His life and character He not only reveals the character of God, but the possibility of man…. Through the cross the sinner was drawn from the stronghold of sin, from the confederacy of evil, and at every approach to the cross his heart relents and in penitence he cries, ‘It was my sins that crucified the Son of God.’ At the cross he leaves his sins, and through the grace of Christ his character is transformed. The Redeemer raises the sinner from the dust, and places him under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As the sinner looks upon the Redeemer, he finds hope, assurance, and joy. Faith takes hold of Christ in love. Faith works by love, and purifies the soul.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 349.
He will grow up like a tender plant
1. With what beautiful comparison do the prophetic writings represent the appearance and development of the Lord’s Servant? Let us seriously consider how we estimate His value.
Isaiah 52:13, first part; 53:2, 3 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently…. 53:2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
“Throughout His [Christ’s] childhood and youth, He manifested the perfection of character that marked His after life. He grew in wisdom and knowledge. As He witnessed the sacrificial offerings, the Holy Spirit taught Him that His life was to be sacrificed for the life of the world. He grew up as a tender plant, not in the large and noisy city, that is full of confusion and strife, but in the retired valleys among the hills. He was guarded from His earliest years by heavenly angels, yet His life was one long struggle against the powers of darkness. Satanic agencies combined with human instrumentalities to make His life one of temptation and trial. Through supernatural agencies, His words, which were life and salvation to all who receive and practice them, were perverted and misinterpreted.” –Signs of the Times, August 6, 1896.
2. What griefs and sorrows did He carry? For whose transgressions and iniquities was He wounded?
Isaiah 53:4, 5 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
“While as a member of the human family He was mortal, as God He was the fountain of life for the world. He could have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under its dominion; but voluntarily He laid down His life, that He might bring life and immortality to light. He bore the sin of the world, endured its curse, yielded up His life as a sacrifice, that men might not eternally die. ‘Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.’ Isaiah 53:4.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 484.
“In coming to the world in human form, in becoming subject to the law, in revealing to men that He bore their sickness, their sorrow, their guilt, Christ did not become a sinner. He was pure and uncontaminated by any disease. Not one stain of sin was found upon Him…. He stood before the world the spotless Lamb of God. When suffering humanity pressed about Him, He who was in the health of perfect manhood was as one afflicted with them. This was essential, that He might express His perfect love in behalf of humanity….” –That I May Know Him, p. 67.
All have gone astray
3. What path does every person take before his conversion? What picture do the holy writings give of every person’s deep spiritual problem and its divine solution?
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
“When all hope was excluded from Adam and Eve in consequence of transgression and sin, when justice demanded the death of the sinner, Christ gave Himself to be a sacrifice for the sin of the world. The world was under condemnation. Christ became substitute and surety for man. He would give His life for the world, which is represented as the one lost sheep that had strayed from the fold, whose guilt as well as helplessness was charged against them and stood in the way, hindering their return. ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins.’… Every son and daughter of God, if they have an abiding Saviour will act out Christ. Every soul that has not an abiding Saviour will reveal the same in unchristlikeness in character. Love is not cherished and put in exercise. ‘Lift Him up, the risen Saviour,’ in our words, in our conversation, in our dealing with the erring.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 283, 284.
4. What did the Son of God do when He was led to the slaughter? How severe were His sufferings to pay for our sins?
Isaiah 53:7, 8 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. 8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
“The cross of Calvary appeals to us in power, affording a reason why we should love our Saviour, and why we should make Him first and last and best in everything. We should take our fitting place in humble penitence at the foot of the cross. Here, as we see our Saviour in agony, the Son of God dying, the just for the unjust, we may learn lessons of meekness and lowliness of mind. Behold Him who with one word could summon legions of angels to His assistance, a subject of jest and merriment, of reviling and hatred. He gives Himself a sacrifice for sin. When reviled, He threatens not; when falsely accused, He opens not His mouth. He prays on the cross for His murderers. He is dying for them; He is paying an infinite price for every one of them. He bears the penalty of man’s sins without a murmur. And this uncomplaining victim is the Son of God.” –Lift Him up, p. 233.
5. While we all have seriously fallen short, what can we say about Him and what He suffered? For what reason did He sacrifice Himself?
Isaiah 53:9, 10 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. 10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
“How much has God loved the race of men? Look to Calvary. As you behold Jesus upon the cross, does not the heinous character of sin appear? It was sin that caused the death of God’s dear Son, and sin is the transgression of the law. Says the prophet: ‘… It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin…. By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.’ Isaiah 53: 10, 11, When the sinner realizes that Christ died for him, that He might impute His righteousness unto him, he magnifies the love of God in providing the plan of salvation.” –Signs of the Times, February 27, 1893.
“The Majesty of heaven pleased not Himself. Whatever He did was in reference to the salvation of man. Selfishness in all its forms stood rebuked in His presence. He assumed our nature that He might suffer in our stead, making His soul an offering for sin.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 418.
The righteous Servant will justify many
6. Concerning what do the Scriptures say that He was satisfied? How sufficient was His sacrifice to justify and redeem man, and how is this possible?
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
“The hour has come when Christ occupies His rightful position and is glorified above principalities and powers and every name that is named. It was for the joy that was set before Him–that He might bring many sons unto glory–that He endured the cross and despised the shame. And inconceivably great as was the sorrow and the shame, yet greater is the joy and the glory. He looks upon the redeemed, renewed in His own image, every heart bearing the perfect impress of the divine, every face reflecting the likeness of their King. He beholds in them the result of the travail of His soul, and He is satisfied. Then, in a voice that reaches the assembled multitudes of the righteous and the wicked, He declares: ‘Behold the purchase of My blood! For these I suffered, for these I died, that they might dwell in My presence throughout eternal ages.’ And the song of praise ascends from the white-robed ones about the throne: ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power….’ Revelation 5:12.” –The Great Controversy, p. 671.
7. What was His reward for laying down His life for sinners? In addition to giving up His life, what other great work did the Lamb of God carry out?
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
“… By beholding the cross men may see and know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. In beholding God we behold the One who poured out His soul unto death. In beholding the cross the view is extended to God, and His hatred of sin is discerned. But while we behold in the cross God’s hatred of sin, we also behold His love for sinners, which is stronger than death. To the world the cross is the incontrovertible argument that God is truth and light and love.” –Our High Calling, p. 45.
“In the service of the Jewish priesthood we are continually reminded of the sacrifice and intercession of Christ. All who come to Christ today are to remember that His merit is the incense that mingles with the prayers of those who repent of their sins and receive pardon and mercy and grace. Our need of Christ’s intercession is constant. Day by day, morning and evening, the humble heart needs to offer up prayers to which will be returned answers of grace and peace and joy.” –(Manuscript 14, 1901) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1078.
For additional study
“When, in consequence of transgression, Adam and Eve were cut off from all hope, when justice demanded the death of the sinner, Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice. ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ 1 John 4:10; Isaiah 53:6.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 268, 269.
“Henceforth you are not your own; you are bought with a price. ‘Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold;… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:18, 19. Through this simple act of believing God, the Holy Spirit has begotten a new life in your heart. You are as a child born into the family of God, and He loves you as He loves His Son.” –A Call to Stand Apart, p. 30.