By Ellen G. White The voice of God had been heard at the baptism of Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, and […]
By Ellen G. White
The voice of God had been heard at the baptism of Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, and again at His transfiguration on the mount. Now at the close of His ministry it was heard for the third time, by a larger number of persons, and under peculiar circumstances. . . .
“This voice came not because of me,” said Jesus, “but for your sakes.” It was the crowning evidence of His Messiahship, the signal from the Father that Jesus had spoken the truth, and was the Son of God.
Restoring God’s Image
“Now is the judgment of this world,” Christ continued; “now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” This is the crisis of the world. If I become the propitiation for the sins of men, the world will be lighted up. Satan’s hold upon the souls of men will be broken. The defaced image of God will be restored in humanity, and a family of believing saints will finally inherit the heavenly home. This is the result of Christ’s death. The Savior is lost in contemplation of the scene of triumph called up before Him. He sees the cross, the cruel, ignominious cross, with all its attending horrors, blazing with glory.
But the work of human redemption is not all that is accomplished by the cross. The love of God is manifested to the universe. The prince of this world is cast out. The accusations which Satan has brought against God are refuted. The reproach which he has cast upon heaven is forever removed. Angels as well as men are drawn to the Redeemer. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth,” He said, “will draw all men unto me.”
Many people were round about Christ as He spoke these words, and one said, “We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? . . . But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.” They had once asked the Savior, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee?” John 6:30. Innumerable signs had been given; but they had closed their eyes and hardened their hearts. Now that the Father Himself had spoken, and they could ask for no further sign, they still refused to believe.
Afraid to Stand Up
“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.” They loved the praise of men rather than the approval of God. To save themselves from reproach and shame, they denied Christ, and rejected the offer of eternal life. And how many through all the centuries since have been doing the same thing! To them all the Savior’s warning words apply: “He that loveth his life shall lose it.” “He that rejecteth me,” said Jesus, “and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48.
Alas for those who knew not the time of their visitation! Slowly and regretfully Christ left forever the precincts of the temple.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. These excerpts were taken from the book The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), pages 625, 626.