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Humble Hero

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    The Terrible Weight That Christ Bore

    The iniquity of us all was laid on Christ as our Substitute and Security. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing on His heart. All His life Christ had been proclaiming the good news of the Father’s pardoning love, but now with the terrible weight of guilt upon Him He could not see the Father’s forgiving face. This pierced His heart with a sorrow that no human can ever fully understand. This agony was so great that He hardly felt His physical pain.HH 347.3

    Satan wrung the heart of Jesus with fierce temptations. Hope did not tell Him that He would come out from the grave a conqueror, nor did it tell Him that the Father accepted His sacrifice. Christ felt the anguish the sinner will feel when mercy will no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath on Him as our Substitute, that broke the heart of the Son of God.HH 347.4

    Angels hid their faces from the fearful sight. The sun refused to look on the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness surrounded the cross. “Until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.” There was no natural cause for this darkness, which was as deep as midnight without moon or stars. It was a miraculous God-given testimony that would confirm the faith of later generations.HH 347.5

    In that thick darkness God hid His presence. God and holy angels were beside the cross. The Father was with His Son. Yet He did not reveal His presence. In that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence.HH 347.6

    In the thick darkness, God veiled the last human agony of His Son. All who had seen Christ in His suffering had been convicted that He was divine. Through long hours of agony He had been open to the view of the jeering multitude. Now He was mercifully hidden by the mantle of God.HH 347.7

    A nameless terror held the crowd gathered around the cross. Cursing and insults stopped. Vivid lightning occasionally flashed from the cloud and revealed the crucified Redeemer. Priests, rulers, executioners, the mob, all thought their time to be punished had come. Some whispered that Jesus would now come down from the cross.HH 347.8

    At the ninth hour, the darkness lifted from the people but still enclosed the Savior. No eye could penetrate the deep gloom that enshrouded Christ’s suffering. Then “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Many voices exclaimed, “The vengeance of heaven is upon Him because He claimed to be the Son of God!” Many who believed on Him heard His cry of despair. Hope left them. If God had forsaken Jesus, in what could His followers trust?HH 348.1

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