Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

June 24, 1897

Christ, the World's Redeemer

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son.” Hear, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth! The heaven-appointed Teachers appears, and he is no less a personage than the Son of the Infinite God. Unroll the scroll, and read of him. Moses declared to the children of Israel: “The Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” Here is the prediction announcing the distinguished arrival. His words were not to be disregarded; for his authority was supreme, and his power invincible.

Unroll the scroll still further, and read what Isaiah says of his work: “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 me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to 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.” “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law.”

Again we read of Christ as the messenger of the covenant yet to come, and as the Sun of Righteousness yet to arise. The prophets made him their earliest and their latest theme.

When will the human mind awake to the importance of Christ's mission to our world? He spoke of his work as above every other consideration. But the Jews, claiming to understand the Scriptures, and to be the only true interpreters of God's Word, did not in the light of their interpretation see Jesus as the Messiah. At his coming they did not receive him, because they had gathered a false idea as to the manner of his coming. This Jesus, a peasant and a carpenter, of obscure origin, the Son of God, the Messiah? It could not be.

But the peculiarity separating the Jews from other nations disappeared in Christ. He placed himself where he could give instruction to all classes of people. Often he told them that he was related to the whole human family, Jew and Gentile. “I am not come to call the [self] righteous, but sinners to repentance,” he declared. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. For this he left the ninety and nine; for this he laid off his royal robes, and veiled his divinity with humanity. The whole world is Christ's field of labor. A sphere narrower than this does not enter his thoughts.

Christ maintained an all-sided, firm self-possession in his remarkable sympathy for others. He did good with a tranquillity and patient continuance never equaled by any human being. The Pharisees and Sadducees were always on his track; and many of them, as they listened to his words, and noted his calmness, even when assailed by passionate, uncourteous men, believed on him. Constantly Christ had to meet the underhand, deceptive opposition of the very men who should gladly have received and acknowledged him. But he was ever calm, while his adversaries, because they could not prevail against him, were in a fever of indignant excitement. Their indignation and malignity showed what spirit they were of.

All the contempt and bitterness that Christ met day by day could not rob him of his self-possession. When he was reviled, he reviled not again. He was not roused by passion to revile those who made use of every opportunity to revile him. He never overstepped the bounds of decorum. Who was he?—The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. The storm raised by his opponents beat about him, but he heeded it not. He could afford to be calm; for he was the living embodiment of truth.

And those today who bear the message of truth to the world should study the life of Christ, and practise his lessons. Never forget that you are children of the heavenly King, sons and daughters of the Lord of hosts. Maintain a calm repose in God, even when meeting with those who are moved by a power from beneath to uphold falsehood. Be sure that the best weapons they possess are not able to destroy the truth, however they may strive to blacken it by misrepresentation. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Christ spoke no words revealing his importance, or showing his superiority; he did not ignore his fellow-beings. He made no assumption of authority because of his relation to God, but his words and actions showed him to be possessed of a knowledge of his mission and character. He spoke of heavenly things as one to whom everything heavenly was familiar. He spoke of his intimacy and oneness with the Father as a child would speak of its connection with its parents. He spoke as one who had come to enlighten the world with his glory. He never patronized the schools of the rabbis; for he was the Teacher sent by God to instruct mankind. As one in whom all restorative power is found, Christ spoke of drawing all men unto him, and of giving the life everlasting. In him there is power to heal every physical and every spiritual disease.

Christ came to our world with a consciousness of more than human greatness, to accomplish a work that was to be infinite in its results. Where do you find him when doing this work?—In the house of Peter the fisherman. Resting by Jacob's well, telling the Samaritan woman of the living water. He generally taught in the open air, but sometimes in the temple, for he attended the gatherings of the Jewish people. But oftenest he taught when sitting on a mountainside, or in a fisherman's boat. He entered into the lives of these humble fisherman. His sympathy was enlisted in behalf of the needy, the suffering, the despised; and many were attracted to him.

When the plan of redemption was laid, it was decided that Christ should not appear in accordance with his divine character; for he could not then associate with the distressed and the suffering. He must come as a poor man. He could have appeared in accordance with his exalted station in the heavenly courts; but no, he must reach to the very lowest depths of human suffering and poverty, that his voice might be heard by the burdened and disappointed, that to the weary, sin-sick soul he might reveal himself as the Restorer, the desire of all nations, the Rest-giver. And to those who are longing for rest and peace today just as truly as those who listened to his words in Judea, he is saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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