Sabbath, June 18, 2005
“…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;…” Hebrews 12:1, 2.
• To make us aware of the high price paid for our redemption.
• To experience once more God’s infinite love for us sinners.
• To move our hearts to gratitude and praise.
LOOKING AT GETHSEMANE
1. What did it mean for Jesus to drink the cup that he had agreed to take even before He was born as a man and that is presented to Him at Gethsemane?
Matthew 26:38, 39 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Isaiah 53:3-6 He 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. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But 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. 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.
“In Gethsemane the cup of woe trembled in His hand.” –The Great Controversy, p. 347.
“But now He seemed to be shut out from the light of God’s sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father’s love.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 685.
2. What did the drops of blood on His forehead reveal?
Luke 22: 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
“No sorrow, no agony, can measure with that which was endured by the Son of God.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p 168.
“Again the Son of God was seized with superhuman agony, and fainting and exhausted, He staggered back to the place of His former struggle. His suffering was even greater than before. As the agony of soul came upon Him, ‘His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ The cypress and palm trees were the silent witnesses of His anguish.
From their leafy branches dropped heavy dew upon His stricken form, as if nature wept over its Author wrestling alone with the powers of darkness.” “In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. The chilling dew of night falls upon His prostrate form, but He heeds it not. From His pale lips comes the bitter cry, ‘O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.’” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 689, 687.
3. What was Jesus’ wish and what did He experience instead?
Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
“The human heart longs for sympathy in suffering. This longing Christ felt to the very depths of His being. In the supreme agony of His soul He came to His disciples with a yearning desire to hear some words of comfort from those whom He had so often blessed and comforted.” “Where now were His disciples, to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their fainting Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? The Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 687, 693.
THE LAMB OF GOD
4. What did He bear together with our sins?
Psalm 69:7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
Hebrews 12:2 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
“He endured shame, cruel scourging, insult, and mockery, that we might be reconciled to God and rescued from endless death. If our minds dwell upon these themes, our conversation will be in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour, and even vain thoughts will seem out of place.” –Gospel Workers (1892), p. 419.
5. How did Christ react when insulted and accused?
Mark 15:4, 5 4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
Isaiah 53:7 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.
“…Christ heard the abuse; but to all the false charges against Him He answered not a word. His whole bearing gave evidence of conscious innocence. He stood unmoved by the fury of the waves that beat
about Him. It was as if the heavy surges of wrath, rising higher and higher, like the waves of the boisterous ocean, broke about Him, but did not touch Him. He stood silent, but His silence was eloquence.” –The Desire of Ages, p 726.
6. What else did Jesus endure for me?
Luke 23:21, 35, 36 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him… And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
“A maddened throng enclose the Saviour of the world. Mocking and jeering are mingled with the coarse oaths of blasphemy. His lowly birth and humble life are commented upon by the unfeeling mob. His claim to be the Son of God is ridiculed, and the vulgar jest and insulting sneer are passed from lip to lip.
“…His hands stretched upon the cross; the hammer and the nails were brought, and as the spikes were driven through the tender flesh, the heart-stricken disciples bore away from the cruel scene the fainting form of the mother of Jesus. “As soon as Jesus was nailed to the cross, it was lifted by strong men, and with great violence thrust into the place prepared for it. This caused the most intense agony to the Son of God… “ –The Desire of Ages, pp. 734, 744, 745.
THE MAN OF CALVARY
7. What did Jesus’ agony and death on the cross reveal?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe. And all that He endured–the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face–speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. He who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee, who opened blind eyes and called forth the dead to life,–offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice, and this from love to thee.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 755.
8. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, what should we all experience when we see Jesus hanging on the cross?
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Jeremiah 33:16 (last part) and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
“…When we behold Him in Gethsemane, sweating great drops of blood, and on the cross dying in agony-when we see this, self will no longer clamor to be recognized. Looking unto Jesus, we shall be ashamed of our coldness, our lethargy, our self-seeking. We shall be willing to be anything or nothing, so that we may do heart service for the Master. We shall rejoice to bear the cross after Jesus, to endure trial, shame, or persecution for His dear sake.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 439, 440.
FOR MEDITATION AND FURTHER STUDY
• “Heaven viewed with grief and amazement Christ hanging upon the cross, blood flowing from His wounded temples, and sweat tinged with blood standing upon His brow. From His hands and feet the blood fell, drop by drop, upon the rock drilled for the foot of the cross. The wounds made by the nails gaped as the weight of His body dragged upon His hands. His labored breath grew quick and deep, as His soul panted under the burden of the sins of the world. All heaven was filled with wonder when the prayer of Christ was offered in the midst of His terrible suffering-‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Luke 23:34.” –Desire of Ages, p. 760.