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The King of Kings => The Desire of Ages => Topic started by: JimB on April 01, 2016, 06:50:09 PM

Title: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on April 01, 2016, 06:50:09 PM
Chap. 78 - Calvary


Listen to   Calvary



 



     "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him." 
     "That He might sanctify the people with His own blood," Christ "suffered without the gate." Hebrews 13:12. For transgression of the law of God, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden. Christ, our substitute, was to suffer without the boundaries of Jerusalem. He died outside the gate, where felons and murderers were executed. Full of significance are the words, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." Galatians 3:13.   
     A vast multitude followed Jesus from the judgment hall to Calvary. The news of His condemnation had spread throughout Jerusalem, and people of all classes and all ranks flocked toward the place of crucifixion. The priests and rulers had been bound by a promise not to molest Christ's followers if He Himself were delivered to them, and the disciples and believers from the city and the surrounding region joined the throng that followed the Saviour. 
     As Jesus passed the gate of Pilate's court, the cross which had been prepared for Barabbas was laid upon His bruised and bleeding shoulders. Two companions of Barabbas were to suffer death at the same time with Jesus, and upon them also crosses were placed. The Saviour's burden was too heavy for Him in His weak and suffering condition. Since the Passover supper with His disciples, He had taken neither food nor drink. He had agonized in the garden of Gethsemane in conflict with satanic agencies. He had endured the anguish of the betrayal, and had seen His disciples forsake Him and flee. He had been taken to Annas, then to Caiaphas, and then to Pilate. From Pilate He had been sent to Herod, then sent again to Pilate. From insult to renewed insult, from mockery to mockery, twice tortured by the scourge,--all that night there had been scene after scene of a character to try the soul of man to the uttermost. Christ had not failed. He had spoken no word but that tended to glorify God. All through the disgraceful farce of a trial He had borne Himself with firmness and dignity. But when after the second scourging the cross was laid upon Him, human nature could bear no more. He fell fainting beneath the burden. 
     The crowd that followed the Saviour saw His weak and staggering steps, but they manifested no compassion. They taunted and reviled Him because He could not carry the heavy cross. Again the burden was laid upon Him, and again He fell fainting to the ground. His persecutors saw that it was impossible for Him to carry His burden farther. They were puzzled to find anyone who would bear the humiliating load. The Jews themselves could not do this, because the defilement would prevent them from keeping the Passover. None even of the mob that followed Him would stoop to bear the cross.
     At this time a stranger, Simon a Cyrenian, coming in from the country, meets the throng. He hears the taunts and ribaldry of the crowd; he hears the words contemptuously repeated, Make way for the King of the Jews! He stops in astonishment at the scene; and as he expresses his compassion, they seize him and place the cross upon his shoulders.
     Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Saviour, but he himself was not a disciple. The bearing of the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon, and he was ever after grateful for this providence. It led him to take upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, and ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden.
     Not a few women are in the crowd that follow the Uncondemned to His cruel death. Their attention is fixed upon Jesus. Some of them have seen Him before. Some have carried to Him their sick and suffering ones. Some have themselves been healed. The story of the scenes that have taken place is related. They wonder at the hatred of the crowd toward Him for whom their own hearts are melting and ready to break. And notwithstanding the action of the maddened throng, and the angry words of the priests and rulers, these women give expression to their sympathy. As Jesus falls fainting beneath the cross, they break forth into mournful wailing. 
     This was the only thing that attracted Christ's attention. Although full of suffering, while bearing the sins of the world, He was not indifferent to the expression of grief. He looked upon these women with tender compassion. They were not believers in Him; He knew that they were not lamenting Him as one sent from God, but were moved by feelings of human pity. He did not despise their sympathy, but it awakened in His heart a deeper sympathy for them. "Daughters of Jerusalem," He said, "weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children." From the scene before Him, Christ looked forward to the time of Jerusalem's destruction. In that terrible scene, many of those who were now weeping for Him were to perish with their children. 
     From the fall of Jerusalem the thoughts of Jesus passed to a wider judgment. In the destruction of the impenitent city He saw a symbol of the final destruction to come upon the world. He said, "Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" By the green tree, Jesus represented Himself, the innocent Redeemer. God suffered His wrath against transgression to fall on His beloved Son. Jesus was to be crucified for the sins of men. What suffering, then, would the sinner bear who continued in sin? All the impenitent and unbelieving would know a sorrow and misery that language would fail to express.   
     Of the multitude that followed the Saviour to Calvary, many had attended Him with joyful hosannas and the waving of palm branches as He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. But not a few who had then shouted His praise, because it was popular to do so, now swelled the cry of "Crucify Him, crucify Him." When Christ rode into Jerusalem, the hopes of the disciples had been raised to the highest pitch. They had pressed close about their Master, feeling that it was a high honor to be connected with Him. Now in His humiliation they followed Him at a distance. They were filled with grief, and bowed down with disappointed hopes. How were the words of Jesus verified: "All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad." Matthew 26:31. 
     Arriving at the place of execution, the prisoners were bound to the instruments of torture. The two thieves wrestled in the hands of those who placed them on the cross; but Jesus made no resistance. The mother of Jesus, supported by John the beloved disciple, had followed the steps of her Son to Calvary. She had seen Him fainting under the burden of the cross, and had longed to place a supporting hand beneath His wounded head, and to bathe that brow which had once been pillowed upon her bosom. But she was not permitted this mournful privilege. With the disciples she still cherished the hope that Jesus would manifest His power, and deliver Himself from His enemies. Again her heart would sink as she recalled the words in which He had foretold the very scenes that were then taking place. As the thieves were bound to the cross, she looked on with agonizing suspense. Would He who had given life to the dead suffer Himself to be crucified? Would the Son of God suffer Himself to be thus cruelly slain? Must she give up her faith that Jesus was the Messiah? Must she witness His shame and sorrow, without even the privilege of ministering to Him in His distress? She saw 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. 
     The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do." 
     Had they known that they were putting to torture One who had come to save the sinful race from eternal ruin, they would have been seized with remorse and horror. But their ignorance did not remove their guilt; for it was their privilege to know and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Some of them would yet see their sin, and repent, and be converted. Some by their impenitence would make it an impossibility for the prayer of Christ to be answered for them. Yet, just the same, God's purpose was reaching its fulfillment. Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father's presence.   
     That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. "Whosoever will" may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life.
     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. Pilate then wrote an inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and placed it upon the cross, above the head of Jesus. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews." This inscription irritated the Jews. In Pilate's court they had cried, "Crucify Him." "We have no king but Caesar." John 19:15. They had declared that whoever should acknowledge any other king was a traitor. Pilate wrote out the sentiment they had expressed. No offense was mentioned, except that Jesus was the King of the Jews. The inscription was a virtual acknowledgment of the allegiance of the Jews to the Roman power. It declared that whoever might claim to be the King of Israel would be judged by them worthy of death. The priests had overreached themselves. When they were plotting the death of Christ, Caiaphas had declared it expedient that one man should die to save the nation. Now their hypocrisy was revealed. In order to destroy Christ, they had been ready to sacrifice even their national existence.   
     The priests saw what they had done, and asked Pilate to change the inscription. They said, "Write not, The King of the Jews; but that He said, I am King of the Jews." But Pilate was angry with himself because of his former weakness, and he thoroughly despised the jealous and artful priests and rulers. He replied coldly, "What I have written I have written."
     A higher power than Pilate or the Jews had directed the placing of that inscription above the head of Jesus. In the providence of God it was to awaken thought, and investigation of the Scriptures. The place where Christ was crucified was near to the city. Thousands of people from all lands were then at Jerusalem, and the inscription declaring Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah would come to their notice. It was a living truth, transcribed by a hand that God had guided.   
     In the sufferings of Christ upon the cross prophecy was fulfilled. Centuries before the crucifixion, the Saviour had foretold the treatment He was to receive. He said, "Dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet. I may tell all My bones: they look and stare upon Me. They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture." Psalm 22:16-18. The prophecy concerning His garments was carried out without counsel or interference from the friends or the enemies of the Crucified One. To the soldiers who had placed Him upon the cross, His clothing was given. Christ heard the men's contention as they parted the garments among them. His tunic was woven throughout without seam, and they said, "Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be." 
     In another prophecy the Saviour declared, "Reproach hath broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave Me also gall for My meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink." Psalm 69:20, 21. To those who suffered death by the cross, it was permitted to give a stupefying potion, to deaden the sense of pain. This was offered to Jesus; but when He had tasted it, He refused it. He would receive nothing that could becloud His mind. His faith must keep fast hold upon God. This was His only strength. To becloud His senses would give Satan an advantage. 
     The enemies of Jesus vented their rage upon Him as He hung upon the cross. Priests, rulers, and scribes joined with the mob in mocking the dying Saviour. At the baptism and at the transfiguration the voice of God had been heard proclaiming Christ as His Son. Again, just before Christ's betrayal, the Father had spoken, witnessing to His divinity. But now the voice from heaven was silent. No testimony in Christ's favor was heard. Alone He suffered abuse and mockery from wicked men.   
     "If Thou be the Son of God," they said, "come down from the cross." "Let Him save Himself, if He be Christ, the chosen of God." In the wilderness of temptation Satan had declared, "If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." "If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down" from the pinnacle of the temple. Matthew 4:3, 6. And Satan with his angels, in human form, was present at the cross. The archfiend and his hosts were co-operating with the priests and rulers. The teachers of the people had stimulated the ignorant mob to pronounce judgment against One upon whom many of them had never looked, until urged to bear testimony against Him. Priests, rulers, Pharisees, and the hardened rabble were confederated together in a satanic frenzy. Religious rulers united with Satan and his angels. They were doing his bidding. 
     Jesus, suffering and dying, heard every word as the priests declared, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Christ could have come down from the cross. But it is because He would not save Himself that the sinner has hope of pardon and favor with God. 
     In their mockery of the Saviour, the men who professed to be the expounders of prophecy were repeating the very words which Inspiration had foretold they would utter upon this occasion. Yet in their blindness they did not see that they were fulfilling the prophecy. Those who in derision uttered the words, "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God," little thought that their testimony would sound down the ages. But although spoken in mockery, these words led men to search the Scriptures as they had never done before. Wise men heard, searched, pondered, and prayed. There were those who never rested until, by comparing scripture with scripture, they saw the meaning of Christ's mission. Never before was there such a general knowledge of Jesus as when He hung upon the cross. Into the hearts of many who beheld the crucifixion scene, and who heard Christ's words, the light of truth was shining.   
     To Jesus in His agony on the cross there came one gleam of comfort. It was the prayer of the penitent thief. Both the men who were crucified with Jesus had at first railed upon Him; and one under his suffering only became more desperate and defiant. But not so with his companion. This man was not a hardened criminal; he had been led astray by evil associations, but he was less guilty than many of those who stood beside the cross reviling the Saviour. He had seen and heard Jesus, and had been convicted by His teaching, but he had been turned away from Him by the priests and rulers. Seeking to stifle conviction, he had plunged deeper and deeper into sin, until he was arrested, tried as a criminal, and condemned to die on the cross. In the judgment hall and on the way to Calvary he had been in company with Jesus. He had heard Pilate declare, "I find no fault in Him." John 19:4. He had marked His godlike bearing, and His pitying forgiveness of His tormentors. On the cross he sees the many great religionists shoot out the tongue with scorn, and ridicule the Lord Jesus. He sees the wagging heads. He hears the upbraiding speeches taken up by his companion in guilt: "If Thou be Christ, save Thyself and us." Among the passers-by he hears many defending Jesus. He hears them repeat His words, and tell of His works. The conviction comes back to him that this is the Christ. Turning to his fellow criminal he says, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?" The dying thieves have no longer anything to fear from man. But upon one of them presses the conviction that there is a God to fear, a future to cause him to tremble. And now, all sin-polluted as it is, his life history is about to close. "And we indeed justly," he moans; "for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss." 
     There is no question now. There are no doubts, no reproaches. When condemned for his crime, the thief had become hopeless and despairing; but strange, tender thoughts now spring up. He calls to mind all he has heard of Jesus, how He has healed the sick and pardoned sin. He has heard the words of those who believed in Jesus and followed Him weeping. He has seen and read the title above the Saviour's head. He has heard the passers-by repeat it, some with grieved, quivering lips, others with jesting and mockery. The Holy Spirit illuminates his mind, and little by little the chain of evidence is joined together. In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the cross, he sees the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Hope is mingled with anguish in his voice as the helpless, dying soul casts himself upon a dying Saviour. "Lord, remember me," he cries, "when Thou comest into Thy kingdom." 
     Quickly the answer came. Soft and melodious the tone, full of love, compassion, and power the words: Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with Me in paradise.
     For long hours of agony, reviling and mockery have fallen upon the ears of Jesus. As He hangs upon the cross, there floats up to Him still the sound of jeers and curses. With longing heart He has listened for some expression of faith from His disciples. He has heard only the mournful words, "We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel." How grateful then to the Saviour was the utterance of faith and love from the dying thief! While the leading Jews deny Him, and even the disciples doubt His divinity, the poor thief, upon the brink of eternity, calls Jesus Lord. Many were ready to call Him Lord when He wrought miracles, and after He had risen from the grave; but none acknowledged Him as He hung dying upon the cross save the penitent thief who was saved at the eleventh hour. 
     The bystanders caught the words as the thief called Jesus Lord. The tone of the repentant man arrested their attention. Those who at the foot of the cross had been quarreling over Christ's garments, and casting lots upon His vesture, stopped to listen. Their angry tones were hushed. With bated breath they looked upon Christ, and waited for the response from those dying lips. 
     As He spoke the words of promise, the dark cloud that seemed to enshroud the cross was pierced by a bright and living light. To the penitent thief came the perfect peace of acceptance with God. Christ in His humiliation was glorified. He who in all other eyes appeared to be conquered was a Conqueror. He was acknowledged as the Sin Bearer. Men may exercise power over His human body. They may pierce the holy temples with the crown of thorns. They may strip from Him His raiment, and quarrel over its division. But they cannot rob Him of His power to forgive sins. In dying He bears testimony to His own divinity and to the glory of the Father. His ear is not heavy that it cannot hear, neither His arm shortened that it cannot save. It is His royal right to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.
     I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with Me in Paradise. Christ did not promise that the thief should be with Him in Paradise that day. He Himself did not go that day to Paradise. He slept in the tomb, and on the morning of the resurrection He said, "I am not yet ascended to My Father." John 20:17. But on the day of the crucifixion, the day of apparent defeat and darkness, the promise was given. "Today" while dying upon the cross as a malefactor, Christ assures the poor sinner, Thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.   
     The thieves crucified with Jesus were placed "on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." This was done by the direction of the priests and rulers. Christ's position between the thieves was to indicate that He was the greatest criminal of the three. Thus was fulfilled the scripture, "He was numbered with the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12. But the full meaning of their act the priests did not see. As Jesus, crucified with the thieves, was placed "in the midst," so His cross was placed in the midst of a world lying in sin. And the words of pardon spoken to the penitent thief kindled a light that will shine to the earth's remotest bounds. 
     With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most intense agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. In His humiliation He as a prophet had addressed the daughters of Jerusalem; as priest and advocate He had pleaded with the Father to forgive His murderers; as a loving Saviour He had forgiven the sins of the penitent thief. 
     As the eyes of Jesus wandered over the multitude about Him, one figure arrested His attention. At the foot of the cross stood His mother, supported by the disciple John. She could not endure to remain away from her Son; and John, knowing that the end was near, had brought her again to the cross. In His dying hour, Christ remembered His mother. Looking into her grief-stricken face and then upon John, He said to her, "Woman, behold thy son!" then to John, "Behold thy mother!" John understood Christ's words, and accepted the trust. He at once took Mary to his home, and from that hour cared for her tenderly. O pitiful, loving Saviour; amid all His physical pain and mental anguish, He had a thoughtful care for His mother! He had no money with which to provide for her comfort; but He was enshrined in the heart of John, and He gave His mother to him as a precious legacy. Thus He provided for her that which she most needed,--the tender sympathy of one who loved her because she loved Jesus. And in receiving her as a sacred trust, John was receiving a great blessing. She was a constant reminder of his beloved Master. 
     The perfect example of Christ's filial love shines forth with undimmed luster from the mist of ages. For nearly thirty years Jesus by His daily toil had helped bear the burdens of the home. And now, even in His last agony, He remembers to provide for His sorrowing, widowed mother. The same spirit will be seen in every disciple of our Lord. Those who follow Christ will feel that it is a part of their religion to respect and provide for their parents. From the heart where His love is cherished, father and mother will never fail of receiving thoughtful care and tender sympathy.
     And now the Lord of glory was dying, a ransom for the race. In yielding up His precious life, Christ was not upheld by triumphant joy. All was oppressive gloom. It was not the dread of death that weighed upon Him. It was not the pain and ignominy of the cross that caused His inexpressible agony. Christ was the prince of sufferers; but His suffering was from a sense of the malignity of sin, a knowledge that through familiarity with evil, man had become blinded to its enormity. Christ saw how deep is the hold of sin upon the human heart, how few would be willing to break from its power. He knew that without help from God, humanity must perish, and He saw multitudes perishing within reach of abundant help.   
     Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt. 
     Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.
     With amazement angels witnessed the Saviour's despairing agony. The hosts of heaven veiled their faces from the fearful sight. Inanimate nature expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness, like a funeral pall, enveloped the cross. "There was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." There was no eclipse or other natural cause for this darkness, which was as deep as midnight without moon or stars. It was a miraculous testimony given by God that the faith of after generations might be confirmed.   
     In that thick darkness God's presence was hidden. He makes darkness His pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes. God and His holy angels were beside the cross. The Father was with His Son. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father's presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.   
     In the thick darkness, God veiled the last human agony of His Son. All who had seen Christ in His suffering had been convicted of His divinity. That face, once beheld by humanity, was never forgotten. As the face of Cain expressed his guilt as a murderer, so the face of Christ revealed innocence, serenity, benevolence,--the image of God. But His accusers would not give heed to the signet of heaven. Through long hours of agony Christ had been gazed upon by the jeering multitude. Now He was mercifully hidden by the mantle of God. 
     The silence of the grave seemed to have fallen upon Calvary. A nameless terror held the throng that was gathered about the cross. The cursing and reviling ceased in the midst of half-uttered sentences. Men, women, and children fell prostrate upon the earth. Vivid lightnings occasionally flashed forth from the cloud, and revealed the cross and the crucified Redeemer. Priests, rulers, scribes, executioners, and the mob, all thought that their time of retribution had come. After a while some whispered that Jesus would now come down from the cross. Some attempted to grope their way back to the city, beating their breasts and wailing in fear.   
     At the ninth hour the darkness lifted from the people, but still enveloped the Saviour. It was a symbol of the agony and horror that weighed upon His heart. No eye could pierce the gloom that surrounded the cross, and none could penetrate the deeper gloom that enshrouded the suffering soul of Christ. The angry lightnings seemed to be hurled at Him as He hung upon the cross. Then "Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" As the outer gloom settled about the Saviour, many voices exclaimed: The vengeance of heaven is upon Him. The bolts of God's wrath are hurled at Him, because He claimed to be the Son of God. Many who believed on Him heard His despairing cry. Hope left them. If God had forsaken Jesus, in what could His followers trust?   
     When the darkness lifted from the oppressed spirit of Christ, He revived to a sense of physical suffering, and said, "I thirst." One of the Roman soldiers, touched with pity as he looked at the parched lips, took a sponge on a stalk of hyssop, and dipping it in a vessel of vinegar, offered it to Jesus. But the priests mocked at His agony. When darkness covered the earth, they had been filled with fear; as their terror abated, the dread returned that Jesus would yet escape them. His words, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" they had misinterpreted. With bitter contempt and scorn they said, "This man calleth for Elias." The last opportunity to relieve His sufferings they refused. "Let be," they said, "let us see whether Elias will come to save Him."       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.
He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself.
     In silence the beholders watched for the end of the fearful scene. The sun shone forth; but the cross was still enveloped in darkness. Priests and rulers looked toward Jerusalem; and lo, the dense cloud had settled over the city and the plains of Judea. The Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, was withdrawing His beams from the once favored city of Jerusalem. The fierce lightnings of God's wrath were directed against the fated city. 
     Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, "It is finished." "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died. 
     Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.
     Never before had the earth witnessed such a scene. The multitude stood paralyzed, and with bated breath gazed upon the Saviour. Again darkness settled upon the earth, and a hoarse rumbling, like heavy thunder, was heard. There was a violent earthquake. The people were shaken together in heaps. The wildest confusion and consternation ensued. In the surrounding mountains, rocks were rent asunder, and went crashing down into the plains. Sepulchers were broken open, and the dead were cast out of their tombs. Creation seemed to be shivering to atoms. Priests, rulers, soldiers, executioners, and people, mute with terror, lay prostrate upon the ground. 
     When the loud cry, "It is finished," came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. In this place the Shekinah had dwelt. Here God had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. No one but the high priest ever lifted the veil separating this apartment from the rest of the temple. He entered in once a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people. But lo, this veil is rent in twain. The most holy place of the earthly sanctuary is no longer sacred. 
     All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God." "By His own blood" He entereth "in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 10:7; 9:12.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on April 08, 2016, 05:08:54 AM
" Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Saviour, but he himself was not a disciple. The bearing of the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon, and he was ever after grateful for this providence. It led him to take upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, and ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden. 

Yet another chapter with so much in it. For a lot of people life's burdens seem too much. But Here we have an example of Simon who literally bore the cross of Christ for Him and in doing so learned the joy of baring the cross of being a disciple of Christ. Every time that Jesus spoke of the cross (5 times) He never spoke of it as His. He always told us to bear our cross and follow Him. The cross He gives us will never be too heavy. For His yoke is easy and burdens are light.

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on April 08, 2016, 07:40:25 PM
Amen, Jim. And, Simon's example is evidence of that.

There is so much in this chapter. I especially am blessed every time I read this:  "Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor."

His eyes could not see through the portals of the tomb, but by faith, He rested in His Father's love. Not just words, but the reality of what happened as Christ hung on the cross.....for us. Such unfathomable love!!

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on July 05, 2016, 06:30:42 AM
What a revelation of grace!!

How can we not be moved, how can a heart resist such love!!  God allowed His innocent Son to suffer the punishment for our sins, the sins of the whole world!! But, in order to be benefited by this grace, we must behold it. How many are daily feeding upon this most wonderful truth? Listen to the Words of Jesus, and understand what lies from below can do to one's faith.

     The mother of Jesus, supported by John the beloved disciple, had followed the steps of her Son to Calvary. She had seen Him fainting under the burden of the cross, and had longed to place a supporting hand beneath His wounded head, and to bathe that brow which had once been pillowed upon her bosom. But she was not permitted this mournful privilege. With the disciples she still cherished the hope that Jesus would manifest His power, and deliver Himself from His enemies. Again her heart would sink as she recalled the words in which He had foretold the very scenes that were then taking place. As the thieves were bound to the cross, she looked on with agonizing suspense. Would He who had given life to the dead suffer Himself to be crucified? Would the Son of God suffer Himself to be thus cruelly slain? Must she give up her faith that Jesus was the Messiah? Must she witness His shame and sorrow, without even the privilege of ministering to Him in His distress? She saw 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.
     The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do." 

We are saved by grace, grace that we take into our hearts. What is grace?  "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." This is grace, that Christ should not only love us while we are sinning, but that He would suffer for our sins while we were yet sinners! Yes, He was interceding for those who were nasty and torturing Him. He could have come down from the cross. But, He did not. He suffered intense agony, not so much from the pain, but from the separation between Him and His Father.

     Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.
     Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.

What love! Imagine the heart of our heavenly Father as He watched His innocent Son suffer!! Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!! This is love, this is grace!

And, Jesus knew His mother doubted He was the Son of God.  "Must she give up her faith that Jesus was the Messiah?" How could that be?

The "teachers" of Israel had deceived the people as to their need of a Savior. Satan had hatched a lie that blinded the people to see the Lamb must suffer and die. What a deception! That the mother of Jesus would not believe it was the Son of God as He suffered for her sins and the sins of the whole world!

How is it today? Do we understand our continual need of a Savior, or do we think we can be separated from God and retain eternal life? Many make all kinds of excuses that they can sin and be saved. But, if we were to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life, suffering, and death of our Savior, our eyes would be opened to the truth. This is our prayer, that there would be a revival and reformation in God's church. That will come when enough begin to focus their attention upon the Lamb of God as He hung upon the cross. This beholding of grace has power to take away the sins of the world.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 05, 2016, 06:42:45 AM
Richard, I see that both of us honed in this morning on some of the same parts of this powerful reading!

This has to be one of the most profound chapters in all of Ellen White's writings, and a high point in Desire of Ages. To enter into imagination as to what Jesus went through is powerful and ennobling, to begin to seek to comprehend what our redemption cost the heart of God.

I was blessed by the last paragraph:

All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God." "By His own blood" He entereth "in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 10:7; 9:12.

Yet all the Christ accomplished for us will be of no avail if we do not behold Him, surrender our hearts entirely, and experience a living-faith connection with Him. We see the result of choice involved in the prayer that Christ breathed for all, including His enemies:

The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do." 
     Had they known that they were putting to torture One who had come to save the sinful race from eternal ruin, they would have been seized with remorse and horror. But their ignorance did not remove their guilt; for it was their privilege to know and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Some of them would yet see their sin, and repent, and be converted. Some by their impenitence would make it an impossibility for the prayer of Christ to be answered for them. Yet, just the same, God's purpose was reaching its fulfillment. Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father's presence.   

There is a key thought here regarding sin and ignorance: "But their ignorance did not remove their guilt; for it was their privilege to know and accept Jesus as their Saviour." Some want to teach that people are innocent as long as they do not know that their sins are wrong, but we clearly see that unknown sin still reveals a separation from God. The answer is not to lessen the standard and try to make a way for people to be saved while in sin, but to point them to the only solution: behold the Lamb of God, and surrender to Jesus Christ and be saved! I love how balanced this presents the picture relative to the plan of salvation--we are not saved in sin, for the only one who can prepare us for heaven is Jesus, and we need Him in our hearts continually! But the key is that we recognize that need, and come to the point of trusting Him to save us from our weak, unchristlike selves.

We see that impenitence made it impossible for some to experience the fulfillment of Christ's prayer. We see here also the importance of character--each day we are forming character. There are many who have formed characters that would make it easier to turn to Christ when the message of His loveliness and pardon in contrast to their sinfulness comes to them. But others have so trained the mind and life to hate the things of God and morality that the prayer of Christ is not able to be fulfilled for them. We know not when a person has passed that boundary line, and come to the point of being unreceptive to the Holy Spirit. But we do know that it is God's will for us to help people understand their continual need of Jesus, and that no choice in character building is insignificant. It is a dangerous thing to resist the light of truth when it shines upon us, for in the future it is harder to yield. Let us today behold Jesus; let us today experience the power of the gospel, for when we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing. This is the evidence that one has passed from death to life, that one has availed himself or herself of the remedy for sin provided at Calvary.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on September 30, 2016, 05:05:48 AM
The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do."
     Had they known that they were putting to torture One who had come to save the sinful race from eternal ruin, they would have been seized with remorse and horror. But their ignorance did not remove their guilt; for it was their privilege to know and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Some of them would yet see their sin, and repent, and be converted. Some by their impenitence would make it an impossibility for the prayer of Christ to be answered for them. Yet, just the same, God's purpose was reaching its fulfillment. Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father's presence.   
    That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. "Whosoever will" may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life.

What love the Savior has for mankind!. He prays for us while we work against Him. It's wonderful to see that some of the priests and rulers did have their eyes open to their course and were converted. Kind of reminds me of Paul. Or Aaron who made an awful mistake at the beginning of Bible history. To all He offers free forgiveness. Even leaders can yet turn their feet into a different path. They have a lot of responsibility in preaching the gospel and leading the church. Let us pray for them like Christ did. Let's pray to encourage the faithful ones and pray that others will have thier eyes opened. "Whosoever will" may have peace with God and inherit eternal life!!!  What matchless love He has!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on September 30, 2016, 05:39:03 AM
Amen!! What love, Jesus and our heavenly Father have for us!

What a chapter! What a God!   What was it that gave Jesus power to carry the sins of the world? Love for us? Yes, but more than that, when the pain was excruciating, when "amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor."

We see here the faith of Jesus. It was by faith He overcame the great temptation to give us up to our sins. He suffered on our account, and it was His Father's love that carried Him through. This is the very same power that will carry us through the time of Jacob's trouble, a time of troubles such as never was. And, it is the same power the we may have today to resist whatever temptation God allows to come to us. We are saved by His grace, His great love that we do not deserve.

Jesus received the wrath of God against sin, so we can live. But, not all will receive this offered gift. We must come to Jesus just as we are and let Him live in our hearts. This He will do today if we will love Him with all of the heart, as He loves His Father.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 30, 2016, 07:15:03 AM
Amen, Jim! Amen, Richard! We also need to daily respond to Jesus and be converted anew by beholding the marvelous revelation of the character of God in Christ! We see a love that is infinite, and the sight of our Savior attracts us to Him. Imperceptibly, but continually through beholding Him, we are being changed. We learn to glory in our tribulations, and though Christ felt utterly forsaken of God, He chose to rely BY FAITH upon what He knew of His Father's character. This encourages me that daily I need to reflect upon how God has manifested His love toward me in Christ, and in the unique way of His dealing in my life. Each time I reflect upon His love, I am able to appreciate it more!

I appreciated how Christ revealed the image of God under intense suffering.

In the thick darkness, God veiled the last human agony of His Son. All who had seen Christ in His suffering had been convicted of His divinity. That face, once beheld by humanity, was never forgotten. As the face of Cain expressed his guilt as a murderer, so the face of Christ revealed innocence, serenity, benevolence,—the image of God. But His accusers would not give heed to the signet of heaven. Through long hours of agony Christ had been gazed upon by the jeering multitude. Now He was mercifully hidden by the mantle of God. {DA 754.1}

I am reminded by Richard's thought about the time of Jacob's trouble that will soon befall those who will remain alive on earth during the seven last plagues, and I am encouraged to reflect upon the reality that you and I need to become more and more acquainted with our Father's character as manifested in Christ. Then, through abiding in Him, the countenance describing Christ in this picture of His crucifixion may also be our experience. We, too, through accepting the righteousness of Christ and having a new heart through living faith may also walk before God with a face lighted up by "innocence, serenity, benevolence,--the image of God"--and this is my desire today to reflect Christ in such a way. Only by abiding through faith in the divine nature are we enabled in life, character, deportment, and countenance to reflect Jesus fully. And for such a revelation the whole universe is eagerly waiting!

"For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God" (Romans 8:19).

Let it begin in you and me right now! Such an experience is the gift we receive through a full surrender to Christ, for by beholding we become changed, and in being changed in heart all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives--not even one of the fruits will be missing!! What a loving God we serve and have come to know in and through Christ!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 26, 2016, 07:30:45 AM
Let us look and live today. Let us appreciate the great love of God for us in Christ!

 With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most intense agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. In His humiliation He as a prophet had addressed the daughters of Jerusalem; as priest and advocate He had pleaded with the Father to forgive His murderers; as a loving Saviour He had forgiven the sins of the penitent thief.

I love Jesus and I am so thankful for all He endured to save me--so may we choose to behold Him continually today and walk in faith working by love!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on December 26, 2016, 08:56:31 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean, who could not love Jesus if they know Him! We who love Him with the whole heart, do so because we know He first loved us, when we were yet sinners. By beholding that love, sinner is transformed into saint.

My mind was led back to our Sabbath School lessons as I meditated upon the sufferings of Christ. Job knew Jesus. He knew of His great love. He knew His character. Yet when he let his mind wander from Christ, He misjudged Jesus. He began to look at his own situation instead of thinking upon Jesus. How often we do the same. But, as we look at Jesus uplifted on the cross, we see a different character. A character that Job represented when he was connected with Jesus. Even thinking Jesus took away his children and caused him to hurt physically, Job praised God. And, we see Jesus our Savior doing the same. He kept His mind on His Father's love. He had a question, but His faith never let go for a moment.

His sufferings were so much more than ours will ever be. He could withstand more   because He was God in human flesh.

     As Jesus passed the gate of Pilate's court, the cross which had been prepared for Barabbas was laid upon His bruised and bleeding shoulders. Two companions of Barabbas were to suffer death at the same time with Jesus, and upon them also crosses were placed. The Saviour's burden was too heavy for Him in His weak and suffering condition. Since the Passover supper with His disciples, He had taken neither food nor drink. He had agonized in the garden of Gethsemane in conflict with satanic agencies. He had endured the anguish of the betrayal, and had seen His disciples forsake Him and flee. He had been taken to Annas, then to Caiaphas, and then to Pilate. From Pilate He had been sent to Herod, then sent again to Pilate. From insult to renewed insult, from mockery to mockery, twice tortured by the scourge,--all that night there had been scene after scene of a character to try the soul of man to the uttermost. Christ had not failed. He had spoken no word but that tended to glorify God. All through the disgraceful farce of a trial He had borne Himself with firmness and dignity. But when after the second scourging the cross was laid upon Him, human nature could bear no more. He fell fainting beneath the burden.
     The crowd that followed the Saviour saw His weak and staggering steps, but they manifested no compassion. They taunted and reviled Him because He could not carry the heavy cross. Again the burden was laid upon Him, and again He fell fainting to the ground. His persecutors saw that it was impossible for Him to carry His burden farther.

But, this was not the suffering that broke the heart of our Savior.

     At the ninth hour the darkness lifted from the people, but still enveloped the Saviour. It was a symbol of the agony and horror that weighed upon His heart. No eye could pierce the gloom that surrounded the cross, and none could penetrate the deeper gloom that enshrouded the suffering soul of Christ. The angry lightnings seemed to be hurled at Him as He hung upon the cross. Then "Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

His Father had separated His beams of light and love from His dear Son. This broke the heart of Jesus. Jesus trusted in His Father's love no matter what happened to Himself. With the sins of the world crushing out His life, the Savior's mind was fastened upon His Father.

     Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, "It is finished." "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died. 

Wonder O heavens, and be astonished O Earth!!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on March 23, 2017, 06:35:42 AM
Oh, what pain Christ endured for us, yet so many having been blinded by sin will not allow Christ into the heart. If only they could see His great love!

     And now the Lord of glory was dying, a ransom for the race. In yielding up His precious life, Christ was not upheld by triumphant joy. All was oppressive gloom. It was not the dread of death that weighed upon Him. It was not the pain and ignominy of the cross that caused His inexpressible agony. Christ was the prince of sufferers; but His suffering was from a sense of the malignity of sin, a knowledge that through familiarity with evil, man had become blinded to its enormity. Christ saw how deep is the hold of sin upon the human heart, how few would be willing to break from its power. He knew that without help from God, humanity must perish, and He saw multitudes perishing within reach of abundant help.   
     Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.
     Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on March 23, 2017, 09:47:25 AM
Oh, what pain Christ endured for us, yet so many having been blinded by sin will not allow Christ into the heart. If only they could see His great love!
Richard, I believe I've posted this before in one of the DA chapter threads but your comment again reminds me of this.

Christ, the sinless One, was making an infinite sacrifice for sinners, that they might be saved. He came as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and those for whom He came looked upon Him as stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. The cup of suffering was placed in His hand, as if He were the guilty one, and he drained it to the dregs. He bore the sin of the world to the bitter end. And yet men continue to sin, and Christ continues to feel the consequences of their sin as if he Himself were the guilty one. {13MR 369.3}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on March 23, 2017, 10:55:12 AM
I don't recall having ever read that, Jim. What a painful thought!! 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on March 23, 2017, 05:14:15 PM
What a Savior!!!

     With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most intense agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. In His humiliation He as a prophet had addressed the daughters of Jerusalem; as priest and advocate He had pleaded with the Father to forgive His murderers; as a loving Saviour He had forgiven the sins of the penitent thief. 

I am so so thankful that by beholding Him in His love, we are changed!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on June 18, 2017, 06:38:39 AM
I am deeply moved to see the triumph of Jesus in the time of greatest suffering on account of our sin:

Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, “It is finished.” “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died. – {DA 756.2}

God promises:

"For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness" (2 Samuel 22:29). The darkness of sin and separation from God has been lightened by Christ's victory over sin and His unswerving faith in the darkest time--and the light of His countenance shines upon us as well as we behold Him in our trials, and rejoice!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on June 18, 2017, 08:14:46 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean. No matter how dark the world gets, we may rejoice as we contemplate the Savior's countenance. He is the light of the world! What a God we serve! He gave all for us while we were yet sinners. What a chapter! I have commented on this particular passage in the past, but this morning, I see it in a different way.

  Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.

Always in the past, my thoughts have been on the blessing that came to Jesus when "the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn." What a blessing to have the peace it brought to Him. He knew His Father and it brought peace to his heart and mind. How can we contemplate anything else. But, this morning the Holy Spirit revealed that we too may have this peace when we know our heavenly Father as we may know Him. Are we acquainted with the character of our God? Have we evidence that tell us when He struck Uzza down that it was right and just? Do we know the character of our Father in heaven so well that when He asked Abraham to sacrifice his own son, that it was for the good of the whole universe including Abraham?

It is through a knowledge of the goodness of God that we may be reconciled to Him. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. By thus doing, we shall come to know Him so that we will have peace that passes all understanding no matter what situation we find ourselves in. In other words the Bibles reveals this truth thusly: "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5. We want to glorify Him who suffered and died that we might live!

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on September 13, 2017, 04:45:31 AM
This reading is a long and beautiful revelation of the character of our God, full of instruction for us today whom the ends of the world is come upon. It is impossible to remain quiet in light of the truth revealed as to how it was that Jesus was able to see through the portals of the tomb when with his human eyes He could not see. On the cross it was dark as God had removed His beams of light and love. But, no matter how dark it is, when the love of God is understood, when His character has been revealed, if we will keep this thought in the forefront of our minds, we too may come forth the victor as did our Savior.

     Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, "It is finished." "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died.
     Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.

My dear friends, if you do not have this faith, then go get it. It sits right under your nose. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word. The Bible reveals the character of our God. And, Seventh-day Adventists have been given a very special revelation of His character in this most wonderful book we are now reading. If we would spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, we would have the faith of Jesus. The Bible tells us this will be the blessing that truly converted Seventh-day Adventists will have. "Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 13, 2017, 07:36:39 AM
Amen, Richard! Jesus' loveliness is revealed to us in the Bible and the beautiful biography of His life, The Desire of Ages. In this chapter, "Calvary" (chapter 78), we find such a clear revelation of the love of God that if we will behold Him dying as our sacrifice and yield our hearts to Him, we will be transformed in character, and go forth to reveal that love to others. What a privilege we have in Jesus!

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, page 755, paragraph 1}

I was moved with the thought that the only thing that kept Christ's feet from ongoing "ministries of love" was the crucifixion--but this, too, is a ministry of love, for His death is the only means by which our sins can be pardoned, and we can have eternal life by surrendering our hearts fully to Him.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on December 09, 2017, 04:23:07 AM
 Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.

If you've ever felt you've been cut off and your case hopeless then you understand the paralyzing fear that can go with that. However, look at the example we have here in this small paragraph. Christ too felt cut off from the father's love and acceptance but Christ knew His Father and His Love and in that confidence He was able to find rest. It was until this morning that I realized that is another good example that we can not trust our feelings. If Christ had given into His feelings then where would we be now? Do you want  this kind of faith? Then look to the Bible and read about Christ and His life and Love toward us sinners.

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Again I invite you to read with us the last few chapters of this book and see if you're heart isn't drawn to Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 09, 2017, 04:33:49 AM
Amen, Jim! What a Savior we have in Jesus! What a character He manifested in dying for us! Praise God we can surrender all to Him and become partakers of His divine nature, overcoming sin through the power of the Holy Spirit who impresses us with the loveliness of Jesus, imbuing us with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one will be missing!

"In the thick darkness, God veiled the last human agony of His Son. All who had seen Christ in His suffering had been convicted of His divinity. That face, once beheld by humanity, was never forgotten. As the face of Cain expressed his guilt as a murderer, so the face of Christ revealed innocence, serenity, benevolence,--the image of God. But His accusers would not give heed to the signet of heaven. Through long hours of agony Christ had been gazed upon by the jeering multitude. Now He was mercifully hidden by the mantle of God." {The Desire of Ages, page 754, paragraph 1}

Behold the face of Jesus--innocence, serenity, and benevolence--and let His love melt your heart! His perfect love, beheld and surrendered to, casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Praise God for such incredible love!   
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on December 09, 2017, 07:55:04 AM
Amen and amen! What love! Our heavenly father separated His beams of light and love from His innocence Son. Amid that awful darkness Christ walked alone. Where was God? He was beside His Son. By faith Christ was the victor. So too, we must walk by faith. We are not alone, Christ is with us, even in our hearts if we give them fully to Him.

And how can we have this great faith? Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up. Christ was lifted up that we might look and live! He was made sin for us. What love! It Is by beholding that we become transformed in character. When we Behold our savior suffering and bleeding on the cross for our sins, it is by His stripes that we are healed.

As Brother Jim has pleaded, we urge you to spend a thoughtful hour each morning with us beholding the Son of God uplifted on the cross, and by beholding become a new creature in Christ Jesus. When we give the whole heart to Him who gave everything for us, the Holy Spirit will take possession of the heart, and He will bring with Him every one of the fruits of the Spirit, not one will be missing. Love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance will be seen in the life of all who love Jesus supremely.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on March 06, 2018, 05:43:17 AM
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.
He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself.

There is not much one can add to this, other than... Praise the Lord for His Goodness & Mercy!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on March 06, 2018, 05:59:40 AM
"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. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself."

It is very difficult to gaze upon this scene and not be crushed with the realization of what Jesus went through for me. At the same time my heart is filled with amazement, awe and overwhelming gratitude. No wonder we are counseled to spend a 'thoughtful hour each day' especially in the closing scenes of Jesus' life. It will do one of two things. Harden the heart that refuses to surrender or the scene will melt it and draw us into full submission. It is our choice.   
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on March 06, 2018, 06:02:33 AM
Amen Dorine and Jim. What a God we serve! As we behold his suffering, it would be good for the church to understand that this is what transforms sinners into saints! For it is by his stripes, that we are healed! "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 2 Peter 2:24. And more pointedly "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." Isaiah 53:5.

There is something we must do to  be saved. We must feed upon Jesus. He is the Bread of Life which came down from heaven. By beholding His glory, His character, we are changed into the same image (character) by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18). By beholding the wonderful grace, we are saved every single day!!

How hard is it to be saved? How long does it take to be converted? It is the end of a long protracted process, but in today's reading we are given a record of one who being executed for his crimes, beheld the sufferings of Christ and was converted while he hung upon the cross. He gave his whole heart to Christ as the suffering of Jesus was understood to be that Lamb that must suffer and die for his sins.

     When condemned for his crime, the thief had become hopeless and despairing; but strange, tender thoughts now spring up. He calls to mind all he has heard of Jesus, how He has healed the sick and pardoned sin. He has heard the words of those who believed in Jesus and followed Him weeping. He has seen and read the title above the Saviour's head. He has heard the passers-by repeat it, some with grieved, quivering lips, others with jesting and mockery. The Holy Spirit illuminates his mind, and little by little the chain of evidence is joined together. In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the cross, he sees the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Hope is mingled with anguish in his voice as the helpless, dying soul casts himself upon a dying Saviour. "Lord, remember me," he cries, "when Thou comest into Thy kingdom."
     Quickly the answer came. Soft and melodious the tone, full of love, compassion, and power the words: Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with Me in paradise.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on March 06, 2018, 06:05:21 AM
Jim I had not read your quote before posting mine. The Holy Spirit impressed us with the same thoughts this morning.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on March 06, 2018, 06:34:27 AM
As I behold Jesus' crucifixion, I am brought to an Eden experience--the bliss of knowing my sins are forgiven and I have access to heaven through His imputed and imparted righteousness! I love Jesus! What a Savior!

"That He might sanctify the people with His own blood," Christ "suffered without the gate." Hebrews 13:12. For transgression of the law of God, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden. Christ, our substitute, was to suffer without the boundaries of Jerusalem. He died outside the gate, where felons and murderers were executed. Full of significance are the words, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." Galatians 3:13.   {The Desire of Ages, page 741, paragraph 2}

By beholding His sacrifice we can be restored to Eden--and that is why Jesus came--because of love, infinite love!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on June 01, 2018, 05:35:48 AM
Are you facing darkness, trials, and perplexities? Does it seem that the circumstances around you are looming larger than God's grace and power to carry you through? Then look to Calvary; look to the faith of Jesus, who, though seemingly forsaken because of our sins, yet trusted in the character of His Father. As we acquaint now ourselves with Him that we may have peace, the trials and difficulties of life need not shake the faith of Jesus experience that God gives us as we praise Him for His character, and in submission of our whole heart to Him are sustained by the divine nature.

"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor." {The Desire of Ages, page 756, paragraph 3}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on June 01, 2018, 07:55:19 AM
Amen Pastor Sean. What love!

By His stripes are we healed. It would be good to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating what we have been given here. These are the last scenes in our Savior's earthly life. Grace is pouring out from these pages which reveal His great suffering that did in fact break His heart. He feared He would be eternally separated from His Father. What suffering He endured because of my sins! And, so much pain for our heavenly Father as He watched His innocent Son suffer such pain.

   Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.

Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth! Herein is love revealed.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on August 27, 2018, 03:46:56 AM
The victory of Jesus on the cross was by faith. The victory in our lives through the Holy Spirit comes as we behold and experientially surrender fully to the love of God the Father in how He gave Jesus to save us. We are not to look to circumstances or to feelings, but to the word of God as it is in Jesus. The faith of Jesus is most strikingly revealed at Calvary. Here I look; here I live. Will you join me in this blessed experience of character transformation? The fruit of knowing His character in a full-heart surrender is that all the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing, even under the most trying and difficult circumstances. What a Savior we have!

"Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, 'It is finished.' 'Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.' A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died." {The Desire of Ages, page 756, paragraph 2} 
     "Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor." {The Desire of Ages, page 756, paragraph 3}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on August 27, 2018, 07:56:41 AM
"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."

He went through all this for me, for you. May these words keep us grounded in love and truth, going forward, never looking back (except to remember how God has led us) because He went to the cross with all it's agony so that we may live with Him through out eternity. May we hold tight to His promises committing our lives daily to Him. I love to imagine what life with Jesus will be like for eternity. All earthly distractions are hidden and troubles seem so small. That's one reason it is so important to keep the scenes of Calvary always before us.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on November 22, 2018, 02:05:00 AM
Uncomplaining, joyful cross bearing. This is what we see in Jesus as He goes to Calvary to bear our sin, and for our sake to become sin itself so we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. As I mediate afresh upon the sacrifice of Christ this morning, I am grateful that today is "Thanksgiving Day," and that in all truth, there could be nothing more important to thank God for--the offering up of His only begotten Son, that to save us from death came to our dark world and would bear our guilt to we may become like Him in mind and character and enjoy an eternity of bliss with Him. No language can fully express how grateful I am to God for what Jesus has done for me. Recently He spared my life as I was in a car accident on November 13 in Nisula, Michigan as, from collision with a deer, the car God gave me was totaled. But God provided another car--and I am reminded afresh that every blessing even in this life comes to us stamped with the cross of Christ.

"The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--'for they know not what they do.'" {The Desire of Ages, gape 744, paragraph 4}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on November 22, 2018, 05:22:46 AM
"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor."

"By faith, Christ was victor." The importance of this truth deeply touched me this morning. If we are not by faith living in daily commitment to Christ now how will we ever have the faith that will hold firm to Him when we are faced with challenges beyond our control? As I gazed again on the beaten body of my Saviour I was overwhelmed with the thought that my sins put Him there.

Thank you Father for sending your precious Son to come and suffer and die that I with the whole world may have eternal life if we so choose. Your love is beyond comprehension.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on November 22, 2018, 06:54:09 AM
Amen! my friends. This morning as I read this chapter I thought what an appropriate day for this chapter to land on. Dorine's prayer echos my thoughts this morning.

 Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme.

For us here in the US today is Thanksgiving Day. How can we be ungrateful when when Christ's theme was the salvation of sinners??? Not only sinners but the chief of sinners. Where would we be without Him?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on February 17, 2019, 03:10:38 AM
I love the contrast. Amid the confusion about the cross and in the temple when Jesus dies is the most unchangeable, sure way opened to us as sinful erring beings who need continually a Savior in order to do any good thing, whose grace has the power to make and keep us saints persevered unto His eternal glory! As I have spent this wonderful morning beholding Jesus' loveliness (my favorite thing to do), I am encouraged to walk in joy and praise to God continually, and prayerfully not let any of Satan's darts keep me from a constant union and communion with Him whose love for me, you, and every soul is infinite!! As we enjoy such union and communion with Christ (the imputed and imparted righteousness of Him whom our souls adore), we experience all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing in our lives--fruits that will only become more fragrant and abundant as He ripens us for His eternal glory--the glory of the cross!!

"All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, 'Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.' 'By His own blood' He entereth 'in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.' Hebrews 10:7; 9:12." {The Desire of Ages, page 757, paragraph 1}

What more can I ask for? What love! What grace! I know what to ask for! I pray that more souls will join in beholding this miracle-working revelation of loving grace that has the power to change sinners into saints and make us missionaries for Him to find more souls to bring to the foot of the cross! May you and I be just such missionaries today!! We have a story to tell of the Father's infinite love in giving His Son to die for us, of Jesus' loving sacrifice to atone for our sins, and of the Holy Spirit's constant wooing to draw us to behold this incredible sacrifice and stamp the divine nature upon our hearts and minds, enabling us to live above the clamors of our fallen nature, and making us ready for heaven, for we have heaven in our hearts!! 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: JimB on February 17, 2019, 06:16:08 AM
They may strip from Him His raiment, and quarrel over its division. But they cannot rob Him of His power to forgive sins. In dying He bears testimony to His own divinity and to the glory of the Father. His ear is not heavy that it cannot hear, neither His arm shortened that it cannot save. It is His royal right to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.

There is just something about that statement "It is His royal right to save...." that just seems so powerful and wonderful and merciful. Praise God for His mercies!

Not only to the uttermost but maybe some of them will be 11th hour workers like the thief on the cross!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on February 17, 2019, 09:51:43 AM
Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpet like tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, "It is finished." "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died.

"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. "

By " FAITH ALONE " , in and through the sacrifice of Jesus we who come to Him and and surrender our lives to Him, may also become partakers of His Love, Forgiveness and Grace and thereby will be able to spend eternity with Him through out the ceaseless ages of eternity.

THANK YOU JESUS FOR MAKING SUCH A GREAT SACRIFICE SO THAT WE MAY BE SAVED 

   
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on February 17, 2019, 10:02:08 AM
  "Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor."

How does one describe the affect this scene has on the heart? If we immerse our minds into what is taking place we get a small glimpse of what Jesus is experiencing.  Because Jesus knew the depths of His Father's love, mercy and justice, Jesus by faith, still trusted in His Father's will no matter how bad the circumstances were.

We will never have to experience the same ordeal that Jesus did but by our daily obedience and faith in Him we will also be given the victory over every temptation. We will be given the strength required at the time it is most needed. I rejoice today to be reminded of the worth God has place in me. After reading this chapter there should not be any doubts about that in anyone's mind.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on February 17, 2019, 08:46:58 PM
Amen, dear Sister Dorine. Day by day we are better understanding how much God loves us and how much the godhead suffered so that we would know it. Jesus did not fully understand what was happening when He hung on the cross. Listen to what Jesus had to consider: "With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ's soul was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan's kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God." From the chapter Gethsemane.

And on the cross He did not why His Father had left Him alone.

    At the ninth hour the darkness lifted from the people, but still enveloped the Saviour. It was a symbol of the agony and horror that weighed upon His heart. No eye could pierce the gloom that surrounded the cross, and none could penetrate the deeper gloom that enshrouded the suffering soul of Christ. The angry lightnings seemed to be hurled at Him as He hung upon the cross. Then "Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

Such pain! Imagine how His Father felt! Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth! Herein we see how much our God loves us!!

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on May 14, 2019, 08:14:06 PM
"When condemned for his crime, the thief on the cross became hopeless and despairing; but strange, tender thoughts now spring up. He calls to mind all he has heard of Jesus, how He has healed the sick and pardoned sin. He has heard the words of those who believed in Jesus and followed Him weeping. He has seen and read the title above the Saviour's head. He has heard the passers-by repeat it, some with grieved, quivering lips, others with jesting and mockery. The Holy Spirit illuminates his mind, and little by little the chain of evidence is joined together."

Did you notice..."He has heard the words of those who believed in Jesus" They were sharing their faith about Jesus who healed the sick and pardoned sinners.!! They may never know until eternity dawns that by sharing their testimony about Jesus they were influencing the mind of this criminal who was dying along side of Jesus and it gave him enough courage to reach out to Jesus to forgive him and remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus immediately responds with a promise of Forgiveness & Eternal Life. How thrilling for both the thief and for Jesus. How strengthening and reaffirming for Jesus that because of His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary that day there would be one more in His future kingdom.

"In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the , he sees the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Hope is mingled with anguish in his voice as the helpless, dying soul casts himself upon a dying Saviour. "Lord, remember me," he cries, "when Thou comest into Thy kingdom." Quickly the answer came. Soft and melodious the tone, full of love, compassion, and power the words: Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with Me in paradise."

Lord, help us all to be willing to share with others " THE BLESSED HOPE " That burns within our hearts - We may never know who else might be listening and make a life changing decision like the thief on the cross,  to follow Jesus. Would it not be thrilling to have someone come up to you and say..." I'm here because of you and you were not even aware that you had impacted their life for Jesus!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on May 15, 2019, 07:30:37 AM
"The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do." "

I take such courage from these words. When we are assailed by temptations and persecution we too will respond as Jesus did but only if we are connected completely to Jesus. There is not one ounce of strength within us to endure such treatment. Our sympathies go out to His physical suffering but what was it that broke His heart to the point He hardly felt the physical pain?

What about today as we face the smaller trials of every day living. Do we confront them with Jesus reigning in the heart or in our own strength? Jesus is reaching out to carry the burdens we can not in our humanity carry. Why then do we so often try? We know it leads to utter frustration and failure. May we keep our eyes on Jesus depending totally upon His strength and power to guide us through each day. May we freely and joyfully fully surrender our lives to Him today. He is our Rock and our Salvation.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on May 15, 2019, 07:47:51 AM
Amen Brother and Sister! We have evil by nature and can do no good thing unless we are partakers of Christ's divine nature through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is the grace of God revealed and allowed into the heart that transforms sinners into saints. We may not see ourselves as saints, but others cannot help but see a difference between those filled with the Spirit and those who are not.

False teachers will disagree with us, but they are fighting against God and His Word. The whole Bible speaks the truth about our fallen nature and the power of grace to transform the character of all who will make a whole heart surrender to Christ. From Ezekiel, just one such statement.

 36:23   And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 
 36:24   For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 
 36:25   Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 
 36:26   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
 36:27   And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. 

Amen!!  We are to be His witness of the power of His forgiving love (grace).

     When the darkness lifted from the oppressed spirit of Christ, He revived to a sense of physical suffering, and said, "I thirst." One of the Roman soldiers, touched with pity as he looked at the parched lips, took a sponge on a stalk of hyssop, and dipping it in a vessel of vinegar, offered it to Jesus. But the priests mocked at His agony. When darkness covered the earth, they had been filled with fear; as their terror abated, the dread returned that Jesus would yet escape them. His words, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" they had misinterpreted. With bitter contempt and scorn they said, "This man calleth for Elias." The last opportunity to relieve His sufferings they refused. "Let be," they said, "let us see whether Elias will come to save Him."       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.

     He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself.

Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth! Such love!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 15, 2019, 09:34:17 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon, Sister Dorine, and Brother Richard!

As by faith we can contemplate what Jesus endured for us on Calvary, we can be motivated to experience a humble, abiding walk with Jesus in the realization of the sense that we are infinitely loved by God and that in full surrender to Him and His will is the purest joy. The Holy Spirit brought this verse to my mind and heart this morning: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8). We do not deserve such great love, but receiving it--receiving this amazing grace--will transform rebellious sinners into repentant, heart-renewed saints who walk with Jesus out of an intelligent appreciation of the cost of their salvation.

 "Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt." {The Desire of Ages, page 753, paragraph 1}   

I am so thankful that when Jesus is reigning in my heart, the trials of life seem to be small in comparison to what He endured for me. As we keep our eyes on Jesus, life is sweetened in every passing moment by the sense of the pardoning love of Christ that alone renews us by the power of the Holy Spirit to partake of His very divine nature!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on August 09, 2019, 06:45:54 PM
"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. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself."


1
Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross,
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away;
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!

2
Was it for crimes that I have done,
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross,
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away;
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!

3
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
the debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
’tis all that I can do!

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross,
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away;
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!


AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND - THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME - THANK YOU JESUS & HAPPY SABBATH
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on August 10, 2019, 04:21:26 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon!

Dying on the cross--drinking the full cup of our guilt and bearing God's wrath against sin--Jesus has finished the warfare against self, and He has conquered that we, beholding Him, surrendered fully to Him, and abiding in Him, may share His victory through the eternal ages! Let us experience the power of the gospel--that grace is powerful enough to change sinners such as you and me into saints whose lives bear all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing--as a witness of God's character to a universe that is waiting to hear "It is done" (Revelation 16:17). Christ's sacrifice was for you and me, that we may have abiding victory over sin through constant union and communion with Him!

"All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, 'Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.' 'By His own blood' He entereth 'in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.' Hebrews 10:7; 9:12." {The Desire of Ages, page 757, paragraph 1}

We may have redemption full and free by letting Christ be all in all to us! Happy Sabbath to you all as we keep our eyes today on Jesus, the one who can save to the uttermost!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on August 10, 2019, 08:33:20 AM
What a God we serve!! Such love!  How very sad that Jesus longed for human sympathy in the Garden and on the cross, and go none from His disciples. But, while on the cross, His grace was seen by one who was sympathetic to what Jesus was going through.

  For long hours of agony, reviling and mockery have fallen upon the ears of Jesus. As He hangs upon the cross, there floats up to Him still the sound of jeers and curses. With longing heart He has listened for some expression of faith from His disciples. He has heard only the mournful words, "We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel." How grateful then to the Saviour was the utterance of faith and love from the dying thief! While the leading Jews deny Him, and even the disciples doubt His divinity, the poor thief, upon the brink of eternity, calls Jesus Lord. Many were ready to call Him Lord when He wrought miracles, and after He had risen from the grave; but none acknowledged Him as He hung dying upon the cross save the penitent thief who was saved at the eleventh hour. 

Those closest to Him doubted His divinity! Even after hearing the Father say He was His Son.   Even Mary. How vile and dull we poor humans are. Praise God for His mercy and grace! We too can cause Jesus to be grateful when we cast away all of our "unbelief" and live a life witnessing to His character!

Love the words to that hymn, Brother Beacon! Thank you for sharing. And, as Pastor Sean has shared, let us continue to behold Jesus that we might have power to reflect His character.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on November 02, 2019, 02:51:23 AM
The Holy Spirit taught me an important lesson this Sabbath morning in relation to how Christ's sufferings and death upon the cross are offered up for us to heal our sufferings and deliver us from sin and unbelief. If we have sinned and feel we cannot pray, that is the very time we need to pray--not because we feel worthy or have earned God's favor (for grace is not what we deserve), but because, by being acquainted with the character of our Heavenly Father and His gift of His Son, we choose to believe that He not only forgives us but has the power to save us from committing that sin again. We accept the wisdom, love and power of God to keep us from falling, and we choose to believe that His character has not changed. Christ on the cross had to rely not on feelings or circumstances to know that His Father was with Him in making the agonized sacrifice on Calvary--but upon the word of God and the evidence heretofore given Him. May we learn to rely on God's character and word in times of temptation to despair or feelings of unworthiness, looking away from self to Christ, knowing that our great need is to behold Christ and abide in His love. Let us look and live!

"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor." {The Desire of Ages, page 756, paragraph 3}

This is what righteousness by faith is all about. We accept Christ's word that we are forgiven and cleansed when we confess our sins and turn to Him with the whole heart. We believe we are cleansed and forgiven--not because we feel it, but because God has promised! Oh, let us learn more fully our continual need of Jesus and rejoice in His infinite love for us manifested at Calvary!! Beholding Christ ripens our character for being more faithful and useful in His service!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on November 02, 2019, 02:54:42 PM
Amen Pastor Sean! I love this paragraph, it is so very important. How was it that Jesus was able to follow His Father's will? Was there something Jesus had done that enable Him to get this horrible darkness?  "In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him." And what was that evidence? "He was acquainted with the character of His Father;" Are we acquainted with the character of our  God? It  is that which will keep us from sin amid the darkness that is coming upon this world. And, what aspects of character are so very important for us to understand? His "justice, mercy, and great love."

     "Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor."

How is is that we gain this understanding? We do as we have been counseled in Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy. We learn of Him who gave all for us. He is the "Bread of Life" we must feed upon. When we spend that that thoughtful hour a day contemplating His life, we will understand His character of grace, justice, and mercy.

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on January 27, 2020, 06:49:09 PM
"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."

May these words echo our strong prayer and the desire of our hearts!! "MORE LOVE TO THEE" -- As written by Elizabeth P. Prentiss, 1856

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!


Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 28, 2020, 01:29:44 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon!!

May we eternally experience more of Jesus' love in our hearts!! His love transforms us as we behold Him in His sufferings! As we experience His love, His very countenance may be reflected in ours! May we today in a complete surrender to Him moment-by-moment know what it means to reflect through the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ a countenance of innocence, serenity and benevolence!! Let us make the service of Christ appear attractive--as it really is!!

"In the thick darkness, God veiled the last human agony of His Son. All who had seen Christ in His suffering had been convicted of His divinity. That face, once beheld by humanity, was never forgotten. As the face of Cain expressed his guilt as a murderer, so the face of Christ revealed innocence, serenity, benevolence,--the image of God. But His accusers would not give heed to the signet of heaven. Through long hours of agony Christ had been gazed upon by the jeering multitude. Now He was mercifully hidden by the mantle of God." {The Desire of Ages, page 754, paragraph 1}

What wondrous love is this, O my soul!! The more we contemplate the sufferings of Christ, the more we shall adopt this language: "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on January 28, 2020, 05:56:16 AM
  The thieves crucified with Jesus were placed "on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." This was done by the direction of the priests and rulers. Christ's position between the thieves was to indicate that He was the greatest criminal of the three. Thus was fulfilled the scripture, "He was numbered with the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12. But the full meaning of their act the priests did not see. As Jesus, crucified with the thieves, was placed "in the midst," so His cross was placed in the midst of a world lying in sin. And the words of pardon spoken to the penitent thief kindled a light that will shine to the earth's remotest bounds.      

With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most intense agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. In His humiliation He as a prophet had addressed the daughters of Jerusalem; as priest and advocate He had pleaded with the Father to forgive His murderers; as a loving Saviour He had forgiven the sins of the penitent thief.

My thoughts this morning are of great awe and gratitude for a Saviour that loves me this much. Even the angels were amazed at such love. Just as he forgave the penitent thief He will do the same for ALL who come to Him in the attitude of the thief.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on January 28, 2020, 11:18:53 AM
What a wonderful revelation of our God! I know that brother Beacon has shared this, but I was also impressed to share the same.

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.

Why repeat this beautiful truth? Because it is just the truth we need to see over and over and over. We are healed by His stripes. By beholding His great love, His grace, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of God.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on April 24, 2020, 05:53:59 AM
What a wonderful revelation of our God! I know that brother Beacon has shared this, but I was also impressed to share the same.

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.

Why repeat this beautiful truth? Because it is just the truth we need to see over and over and over. We are healed by His stripes. By beholding His great love, His grace, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of God.

And why repeat this quote again and again?

 Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.

It is the same as the previous truth. It is by beholding God's grace that we are healed (converted). It is by being acquainted with our God that we are saved. How can we trust someone we do not know? We can't. God asks us to trust Him with all we are and all we have. It is impossible to give the whole heart to Him if we do not trust Him. How do we come to the point of trusting Him? The same way Jesus learned of Him. We spend time with Him in the Word. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The Word is a revelation of God's character. When we know Him as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will reveal one victory after another. It is a promise!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 24, 2020, 07:43:10 AM
Amen, Brother Richard! By beholding Jesus there is converting grace strong enough to transform the vilest sinner (as I am, and as Paul understood, see 1 Timothy 1:15), and make us saints who have new hearts and minds, partakers of the divine nature!!

Jesus understands the most fierce and fiery temptations, and at Calvary Satan did everything He could to seek to drive Jesus to despair. But read Psalm 22, and you know that Christ was victor. "It is finished" (John 19:30) came from His lips, even though His heart was broken by our sin, for He became sin for us. I am so thankful for Jesus as my Savior, for in Him I find strength to resist temptation--no matter how strong--as the power of what He did at Calvary impels me to remember that Satan has been vanquished, Christ is victorious, and by a living faith surrender to Christ, I may continually share in His victory to walk above the clamor of the world, the flesh and the devil by having Christ imbue me with the Holy Spirit so that every trait of His divine nature--not one missing--will be manifest as the reason He came to this planet. He came to save us to the uttermost. Let us allow Jesus to have all of us continually!!

"Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God." {The Desire of Ages, page 753, paragraph 2}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on April 24, 2020, 06:36:57 PM
The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary

"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. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself."

Hymn #163 "At the Cross"

1
Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross,
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away;
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!

2
Was it for crimes that I have done,
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross,
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away;
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!

3
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
the debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
’tis all that I can do!

Refrain
At the cross, at the cross,
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away;
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!


"With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most intense agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. In His humiliation He as a prophet had addressed the daughters of Jerusalem; as priest and advocate He had pleaded with the Father to forgive His murderers; as a loving Saviour He had forgiven the sins of the penitent thief."

AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND - THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME - THANK YOU JESUS!"
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on April 25, 2020, 06:37:41 AM

"The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do."

As I stand at the foot of the cross, looking into the face of Jesus I experience the words of Isaiah.......

Isa 6:5  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Beholding Jesus has a powerful effect on ones heart. It takes great effort to turn away and reject His offer but sweet peace when we say yes Lord Jesus you may have my whole heart. No wonder we are counselled to come to the foot of the cross each day and meditate on the closing scenes of Christ's life here on earth.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 20, 2020, 06:05:12 AM
To compare the time to trouble that is about to come upon the whole world with what Christ endured on Calvary, we learn what will sustain the righteous who live through that time. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" (Daniel 12:1). Knowing that Christ stands for us, we can remember His character and how He has treated us in our life journey. Though God's people may feel utterly forsaken, and even though every earthly support may fail, Christ's victory on Calvary will be the victory of the triumphant saints who pass through that time, for Christ will come the second time in power and great glory. Let us learn the lessons now to prepare us for what is to come as an overmastering surprise to the world soon to perish! Let us live lives that invite ALL to repent and come to Christ while there is still time!!

"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor." {The Desire of Ages, page 756, paragraph 3}

This victory is for us. Let us walk in the victory in Christ by beholding His loveliness of character and accept His atoning blood to cleanse us from all sin, so that this amazing grace may melt and subdue our hearts, lead us to gladly yield our will to Him, and become partakers of the divine nature through appropriating His promises to our lives! As we do so, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be manifest in our characters because Christ is abiding in us by a living faith surrender to Him! Such a life will be lived in happy obedience to all of the Ten Commandments, including the fourth commandment that enjoins the observance of the seventh day Sabbath as the light comes to the soul!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on July 20, 2020, 09:02:52 AM
"When the darkness lifted from the oppressed spirit of Christ, He revived to a sense of physical suffering, and said, "I thirst." One of the Roman soldiers, touched with pity as he looked at the parched lips, took a sponge on a stalk of hyssop, and dipping it in a vessel of vinegar, offered it to Jesus."

When Jesus realized that His mind might be dulled by the drink that was offered to Him, He refused it. Matthew 27:34 says..."They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink." Jesus recognized that if His mind would become dull in away from the drink offered to Him to lessen His pain & suffering He might lose the battle with Satan.

The Bible again give us this counsel in 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

If we are seriously preparing to be ready for the "Closing of Probation" & "The Great Time of Trouble" which are events soon to take place should we not also be willing to set aside "Anything & Everything " that might dull our senses and cause us to take our eyes off Jesus?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on July 20, 2020, 12:17:06 PM
"All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God." "By His own blood" He entereth "in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 10:7; 9:12.

As we see Jesus lifted high on the cross and we watch and listen to all that is being said and done our hearts are crushed to witness such agony. Yet grateful praise fills our hearts when we realize that this is the result of grace and love that passes all understanding. Love draws us to Him and in total surrender we give ourselves to Him. What a Saviour, what a friend. He is all we need.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on July 20, 2020, 08:44:03 PM
Amen Pastor Sean, Brother Beacon, and Sister Dorine!  Calvary, what a chapter!!! What a God!!

In another prophecy the Saviour declared, "Reproach hath broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave Me also gall for My meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink." Psalm 69:20, 21. To those who suffered death by the cross, it was permitted to give a stupefying potion, to deaden the sense of pain. This was offered to Jesus; but when He had tasted it, He refused it. He would receive nothing that could becloud His mind. His faith must keep fast hold upon God. This was His only strength. To becloud His senses would give Satan an advantage. 

Like in the Garden, there were  none to comfort Him.     Today, we can comfort Him. Let us give glory to our God and our Savior!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Lena on July 22, 2020, 11:45:31 PM
I said that I would die for Him,
I really thought I could
But there I was denying Him
I never thought I would!
I failed the Lord, I let him down,
After all He's done for me;
And now He's walking up a hill,
A hill called Calvary.

Calvary, Calvary, was it meant for Him?
Was it meant for me?
Calvary, Calvary;
Is that my cross He's taking to Calvary?

He found me in my sin and told me,
"Go and sin no more,"
And ever since that day I'm not
The way I was before;
I only came to thank Him for
The life He gave to me;
But there He's going up a hill,
A hill called Calvary.

Calvary, Calvary, was it meant for Him?
Was it meant for me?
Calvary, Calvary;
Is that my cross He's taking to Calvary?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on July 23, 2020, 05:14:31 AM
Thank you Lena for sharing this poem. It looks like it may be a song. I've never read this words before but Oh how true they are.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Lena on July 23, 2020, 08:38:16 PM
It is the song "Calvary" from the movie "His Last Days". 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on July 23, 2020, 09:19:01 PM
Amen! Thanks for sharing Sister Lena. Indeed it was my cross He was bearing to Calvary! May we never forget it, for it is by remembering this grace we are continually transformed and saved.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on October 15, 2020, 08:21:20 AM
"For long hours of agony, reviling and mockery have fallen upon the ears of Jesus. As He hangs upon the cross, there floats up to Him still the sound of jeers and curses.

With longing heart He has listened for some expression of faith from His disciples.

He has heard only the mournful words, "We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel."

How grateful then to the Saviour was the utterance of faith and love from the dying thief!

While the leading Jews deny Him, and even the disciples doubt His divinity, the poor thief, upon the brink of eternity, calls Jesus Lord. Many were ready to call Him Lord when He wrought miracles, and after He had risen from the grave; but none acknowledged Him as He hung dying upon the cross save the penitent thief who was saved at the eleventh hour. "


There will never be a stronger demonstration of God's Love than the one given at Calvary. My prayer today is that my life may reflect with total surrender & gratitude a willingness to Trust & Obey my Lord and Saviour and be found working in His vineyard to help others find and accept His offer of Grace, Forgiveness and to walk on the pathway way to Heaven and the New Earth. Will You join me?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on October 15, 2020, 09:25:30 AM
Amen Brother Beacon!!  And thus the counsel that it would be good to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes where His character of grace is most clearly seen.

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. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself.

Such love, such a message to take the world as the end nears!!  And, in support of the message given to Nicodemus in the garden, "As Moses lifted up serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up," we see here that our "Sin Bearer" was made "sin itself." Thus, the serpent being lifted up was a symbol of sin. It was "Sin Itself" that was lifted up on the cross. Many miss this point and thus do not understand why the bronze serpent was chosen to be lifted up. It was a representation of Jesus hanging on the cross. And if Nicodemus were to look upon Christ lifted up on the cross, he would be converted, born again of the Spirit. Do we not understand that it applies to all sinners who will spend that thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the scene of Him lifted up on the cross? For it is by beholding His grace that sinners are transformed into saints. We must "look and live."
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 15, 2020, 09:56:46 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon and Brother Richard!

The good news is really a cross--a paradox--in that the closer you come to Christ the more sinful and weak you will know yourself to really be, thus moving your heart to completely surrender and trust Christ who bore your sin, relying upon His power to save you to the uttermost by giving you a new mind and heart! Let us remember that whatever sinfulness we see in our sinful flesh, Jesus bore the agony of becoming that sin for us, so as to deliver us from sin slavery! The deliverance from sin slavery will always bear fruit, for on a moment-by-moment basis we may abide in Jesus by the divine nature accessible to us in His promises, and thus live a life that will overflow with all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing!

"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. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself." {The Desire of Ages, page 755, paragraph 1} 

Since Christ became sin itself, we can realize that sin becomes hateful to us as we behold His loveliness and realize we do not want to keep bringing pain to the heart of infinite love!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on January 09, 2021, 09:43:34 PM
"The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart..

While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt.

He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--'for they know not what they do.'"


My heart is challenged as I read these words. I asked myself... do I feel the same way toward others when being treated unfairly in a rude-cutting- manner? Would I be praying " Father - forgive them for they know not what they do.? If we are not practicing the same loving approach as Jesus now, will we be ready to pray for those who may persecute us in the upcoming great time of persecution just before His second coming? 

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on January 10, 2021, 06:57:57 AM
"At the ninth hour the darkness lifted from the people, but still enveloped the Saviour. It was a symbol of the agony and horror that weighed upon His heart. No eye could pierce the gloom that surrounded the cross, and none could penetrate the deeper gloom that enshrouded the suffering soul of Christ. The angry lightnings seemed to be hurled at Him as He hung upon the cross. Then "Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" As the outer gloom settled about the Saviour, many voices exclaimed: The vengeance of heaven is upon Him. The bolts of God's wrath are hurled at Him, because He claimed to be the Son of God. Many who believed on Him heard His despairing cry. Hope left them. If God had forsaken Jesus, in what could His followers trust?"   

As I pondered the question I couldn't help but be reminded of the counsel we are given concerning the condition of the church at the end. It will appear as if it's about to fall but it doesn't. Just as Jesus suffered for the sins of the world his elect will suffer the results of following Jesus. He is hated now as much as when He was on earth. Only as we spend time with Him in bible study and prayer, continually abiding in Him will we have the faith to look beyond the present to the glorious day that awaits us.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 10, 2021, 09:20:42 AM
The greatest pain felt and known to a depth that is beyond human comprehension by Jesus Christ at Calvary was on account of His separation from God because of sin. Here He experienced the separation that sin makes between the soul and God, and as His Father's countenance was withdrawn from Him, Jesus' heart was pierced so deeply that the physical anguish He was enduring was barely felt. Oh, let us contemplate more of the cost of our salvation and appreciate the loveliness of Jesus, for by beholding Him we become changed, have the true motivation to surrender the entire heart and mind to Him so He can renew us and imbue us with all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, and make us willing to be willing in any and every area of life and character as we approach the final moments of earth's history. Christ's sacrifice is the great impetus for us to go forth and give the last message of mercy to a world soon to perish. Sin leads to death, and Christ's death is a pledge that all who will come to Him and be saved may lay aside the habits and mindset of death to receive the very mind of Christ--which is life and peace!

"Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt." {The Desire of Ages, page 753, paragraph 1}

The value of each soul can only be estimated by realizing the experience of Christ at Calvary. And as exceedingly great as was the pain of Christ in His soul, so much greater was the anguish the Father endured in seeing His Son bear the crushing weight of the sin of the world. Oh, let us appreciate how even now the Holy Spirit is laboring to bring us to an intelligent appreciation of the sacrifice made by the Godhead in saving all who will come and be saved! Look and live! Jesus is able to save the uttermost all who come unto Him!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Philip T on January 10, 2021, 05:37:27 PM
  Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.

As I read this evening it stuck me Jesus suffered for all sins past present and future. But he also suffered and loved those who reject Him to the point that judgement is closed. He knows their suffering and pain when they realize at His 2nd Advent what has happened. What love our Savior has for us. We cannot fathom the height and depth of his love and grace, all we can do is open our hearts and arms and accept it.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on January 10, 2021, 09:51:52 PM
What a God that loves us. How did Jesus suffer under the sins of the world?

     Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.

And so it is with us. How is it that we are able to survive the evil in this world? By remembering the love and justice of our God. Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on April 07, 2021, 12:33:44 AM
"For long hours of agony, reviling and mockery have fallen upon the ears of Jesus. As He hangs upon the cross, there floats up to Him still the sound of jeers and curses..

..With longing heart He has listened for some expression of faith from His disciples...

..He has heard only the mournful words, "We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.."

How grateful then to the Saviour was the utterance of faith and love from the dying thief!

"While the leading Jews deny Him, and even the disciples doubt His divinity, the poor thief, upon the brink of eternity, calls Jesus Lord. Many were ready to call Him Lord when He wrought miracles, and after He had risen from the grave...

.. but none acknowledged Him as He hung dying upon the cross save the penitent thief who was saved at the eleventh hour."


There will never be a stronger demonstration of God's Love than the one given at Calvary. My prayer today is that my life may reflect with total surrender & gratitude a willingness to Trust & Obey my Lord and Saviour and be found working in His vineyard to help others find and accept His offer of Grace and Forgiveness, to walk on the pathway way to Heaven and the New Earth. Will You join me?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 07, 2021, 04:42:46 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon!

The miracle of divine grace is so evident in the heart work that took place in the experience of the life of the penitent thief. What grace and hope come to us in Jesus, that no matter how far we have fallen, if we will take one earnest look to Calvary and see the true character of God manifest there, we may surrender our sin-polluted lives and be cleansed by the efficacy of His blood, receive a new heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit, and be remembered for eternity by having eternal life by grace through faith! Even though the repentant thief only had a few more hours to live after surrendering fully to Christ, and even though he was suffering on his cross, he could have all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing because he became a converted man!

"To Jesus in His agony on the cross there came one gleam of comfort. It was the prayer of the penitent thief. Both the men who were crucified with Jesus had at first railed upon Him; and one under his suffering only became more desperate and defiant. But not so with his companion. This man was not a hardened criminal; he had been led astray by evil associations, but he was less guilty than many of those who stood beside the cross reviling the Saviour. He had seen and heard Jesus, and had been convicted by His teaching, but he had been turned away from Him by the priests and rulers. Seeking to stifle conviction, he had plunged deeper and deeper into sin, until he was arrested, tried as a criminal, and condemned to die on the cross. In the judgment hall and on the way to Calvary he had been in company with Jesus. He had heard Pilate declare, 'I find no fault in Him.' John 19:4. He had marked His godlike bearing, and His pitying forgiveness of His tormentors. On the cross he sees the many great religionists shoot out the tongue with scorn, and ridicule the Lord Jesus. He sees the wagging heads. He hears the upbraiding speeches taken up by his companion in guilt: 'If Thou be Christ, save Thyself and us.' Among the passers-by he hears many defending Jesus. He hears them repeat His words, and tell of His works. The conviction comes back to him that this is the Christ. Turning to his fellow criminal he says, 'Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?' The dying thieves have no longer anything to fear from man. But upon one of them presses the conviction that there is a God to fear, a future to cause him to tremble. And now, all sin-polluted as it is, his life history is about to close. 'And we indeed justly,' he moans; 'for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss.'" {The Desire of Ages, page 749, paragraph 3} 

As all the pieces come together for the thief on the cross, his earnest, sincere prayer is so fitting! "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom" (Luke 23:42). Jesus responds and gives the assurance of eternal life that very day. As we surrender fully to Christ, we, too, may be remembered in God's kingdom and let our lives be a witness of the power of grace to transform sinners into saints!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Philip T on April 07, 2021, 05:28:58 AM
  At this time a stranger, Simon a Cyrenian, coming in from the country, meets the throng. He hears the taunts and ribaldry of the crowd; he hears the words contemptuously repeated, Make way for the King of the Jews! He stops in astonishment at the scene; and as he expresses his compassion, they seize him and place the cross upon his shoulders.
     Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Saviour, but he himself was not a disciple. The bearing of the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon, and he was ever after grateful for this providence. It led him to take upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, and ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden.

There is so much in this chapter, Simon who  had heard of Jesus, but not given his heart to Jesus, had pity for Him, and was taken from the crowd and bore the cross for Jesus as he was taken to his crucifixion  Gave his heart to him during this bearing of the cross and considered it a blessing to have carried the cross for Jesus a cheerful burden, do we cheerfully bear our burdens for Christ?  It is all to easy to complain about our plight, rather than consider it a burden to suffer for Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on April 07, 2021, 07:10:59 AM
Amen brother Philip. You ask sobering questions for us to ponder. When we murmur and complain we are showing distrust in God's love and care for us.

The thought that stood out to me this morning was the complete trust Jesus had in His Father who He knew so well. Even though there was no apparent evidence that His Father was with Him, I love how it says, "And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor."

It spoke strongly to me because I'm realizing more and more just how essential 'faith' is in our relationship with Jesus.

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on April 07, 2021, 09:54:02 PM
Amen dear friends! What a God we serve!!  All heaven rejoiced when Christ cried out "it is finished!"  Do we also rejoice when we understand what Christ accomplished? Do we understand that He willingly suffered on account of our sins? And, He is soon to cry out again, it is finished when He steps out of the Most Holy Place in heaven. He then will have a people who have ceased to sin. We are those people who He is leading to this point in time.

     When the loud cry, "It is finished," came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. In this place the Shekinah had dwelt. Here God had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. No one but the high priest ever lifted the veil separating this apartment from the rest of the temple. He entered in once a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people. But lo, this veil is rent in twain. The most holy place of the earthly sanctuary is no longer sacred. 

And soon, very soon, the most holy place in heaven will have been cleansed of all sin! Let us do our part. Every time we sin, the heavenly sanctuary must remain open. Jesus has to continue until we cease sinning. He is trying very hard to prepare a people who can live through the time of trouble such as never was without a Mediator without sinning! Today He is strengthening your character that you might vindicate Him who gave all that we might live!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on July 03, 2021, 06:55:32 AM
"In their mockery of the Saviour, the men who professed to be the expounders of prophecy were repeating the very words which Inspiration had foretold they would utter upon this occasion. Yet in their blindness they did not see that they were fulfilling the prophecy. Those who in derision uttered the words, "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God," little thought that their testimony would sound down the ages. But although spoken in mockery, these words led men to search the Scriptures as they had never done before. Wise men heard, searched, pondered, and prayed. There were those who never rested until, by comparing scripture with scripture, they saw the meaning of Christ's mission. Never before was there such a general knowledge of Jesus as when He hung upon the cross. Into the hearts of many who beheld the crucifixion scene, and who heard Christ's words, the light of truth was shining."
It's amazing how God can bring good out of evil. It took the horrible death of Jesus on the cross to cause many to study the scriptures to know for themselves the things that were written there.  What an encouragement to each of us as we face the trials that come to us. Even in these trials the fruit of the Spirit will be seen and be a testimony to the power of a loving God.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on July 03, 2021, 07:39:17 AM
Amen dear sister!  That is the message we are to carry to a world soon to perish. Amid the suffering we cannot imagine, Jesus thought only of ministering to others. By God's grace we shall do the same.

 With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most intense agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. In His humiliation He as a prophet had addressed the daughters of Jerusalem; as priest and advocate He had pleaded with the Father to forgive His murderers; as a loving Saviour He had forgiven the sins of the penitent thief. 

He is just as willing to forgive our sins today. Even the most guilty may receive forgiveness just as Jesus forgave the "chief of sinners" who was indeed guilty of persecuting His disciples which included murder. What a God who we serve!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on July 03, 2021, 11:49:55 AM
"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. "

"In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey..

..And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn.

"By faith, Christ was victor."

It is my prayer that all of us may have this same type of faith, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves, Jesus is there and....

FAITH IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD.


Encamped along the hills of light,
  Ye Christian soldiers rise,
And press the battle ere the night
  Shall veil the glowing skies;
Against the foe in vales below
  Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
  That overcomes the world.
    Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory,
  That overcomes the world.
2
His banner over us is love,
  Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints before
  With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
  Swept on o’er every field;
The faith by which they conquered death
  Is still our shining shield.

-------------------------------------------------------------
Words by John Henry Yates 1827 - 1900


Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 03, 2021, 12:34:12 PM
We all have a choice. So did Jesus. When He was on the cross, He chose to stay in the midst of the suffering to save us from sin. When we love Jesus with the whole heart, as we contemplate His infinite loveliness, we may find healing from self and grow to be more like Jesus as we realize how much He loves us!

"Jesus, suffering and dying, heard every word as the priests declared, 'He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.' Christ could have come down from the cross. But it is because He would not save Himself that the sinner has hope of pardon and favor with God." {The Desire of Ages, page 749, paragraph 1} 

Praise God that we may have pardon with God because of the merits of Christ. Let us patiently and calmly receive the infinite salvation offered us and grow more like Him in constant union and communion with Christ! God is so gracious!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on September 28, 2021, 06:58:43 AM
"Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Saviour, but he himself was not a disciple. The bearing of the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon, and he was ever after grateful for this providence. It led him to take upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, and ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden."

Out of all the horrible description of the torturous treatment of Jesus this little paragraph stood out to me this morning. Do I bear the cross of Christ with joy and cheerful willingness? Simon didn't really know Jesus except from what his sons told him. Now as he is confronted with this terrible scene his heart is gripped with compassion and through accepting the cross on his back and carrying it to Calvary for Jesus his life is completely changed. That's what Calvary does when we open our hearts and let Jesus in."

On a rugged hill, stood a rugged cross,
And upon that cross there hung in shame,
God's beloved Son, Christ the lovely one,
Who from heaven to the sinner came.

On a rugged hill stood a mocking throng,
Scorning Him who came to save the lost.
It was not in vain that the saviour came,
To redeem the lost at priceless cost.

Calvary, rugged hill of sorrow,
Where the Prince of glory died for me,
Wounded, crushed and broken hearted,
Lone He suffered untold agony.
Sinless there He bore my burden,
That from sinful shame I might be free,
Glorious day, He took my sins away,
On the cross of Calvary.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on September 28, 2021, 08:04:50 AM
Amen Sister Dorine!  Carrying His cross is the greatest trust and the highest honor God can bestow upon us. We too will glory in our tribulation as we abide in Jesus and He in us!
  In the sufferings of Christ upon the cross prophecy was fulfilled. Centuries before the crucifixion, the Saviour had foretold the treatment He was to receive. He said, "Dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet. I may tell all My bones: they look and stare upon Me. They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture." Psalm 22:16-18. The prophecy concerning His garments was carried out without counsel or interference from the friends or the enemies of the Crucified One. To the soldiers who had placed Him upon the cross, His clothing was given. Christ heard the men's contention as they parted the garments among them. His tunic was woven throughout without seam, and they said, "Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be."
     In another prophecy the Saviour declared, "Reproach hath broken My heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave Me also gall for My meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink." Psalm 69:20, 21. To those who suffered death by the cross, it was permitted to give a stupefying potion, to deaden the sense of pain. This was offered to Jesus; but when He had tasted it, He refused it. He would receive nothing that could becloud His mind. His faith must keep fast hold upon God. This was His only strength. To becloud His senses would give Satan an advantage. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on September 28, 2021, 09:51:13 AM
"The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart."

"While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

"His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. "

"Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do."

My Prayer for You and for Me is that we may be like Jesus if and when we are called to Stand Tall & Resolute for Him.

Earthly pleasures vainly call me,
  I would be like Jesus;
Nothing worldly shall enthrall me,
  I would be like Jesus.

 Be like Jesus, this my song,
  In the home and in the throng;
Be like Jesus, all day long!
    I would be like Jesus.
2
He has broken every fetter,
  I would be like Jesus;
That my soul may serve Him better,
  I would be like Jesus.
3
All the way from earth to glory,
  I would be like Jesus;
Telling o’er and o’er the story,
  I would be like Jesus.


Lyrics:Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Music:Hugh Wilson (1766-1824)


Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 29, 2021, 06:13:24 AM
Amen, Sister Dorine, Brother Richard, and Brother Beacon!

Christ bore our sin-laden experience even unto death so we can be free from sin’s pull and power in complete surrender to Jesus!!

“Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” {The Desire of Ages, page 753, paragraph 2}

Look to Jesus and experience His power over sin—for He rise to give us victory and the true filling of the Holy Spirit so all of the fruits of the Spirit will be in our lives without one missing as long as we remain abiding in Christ by His word!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on December 23, 2021, 08:11:30 PM
"At this time a stranger, Simon a Cyrenian, coming in from the country, meets the throng. He hears the taunts and ribaldry of the crowd; he hears the words contemptuously repeated,,,

"Make way for the King of the Jews! "

"He stops in astonishment at the scene; and as he expresses his compassion, they seize him and place the cross upon his shoulders."

"Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Saviour, but he himself was not a disciple. "

"The bearing of the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon, and he was ever after grateful for this providence.

"It led him to take upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, and ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden."


In all of our busyness are " WE " willing to stop and with amazement look upon the scenes of Calvary and be drawn to Jesus, the Lamb of God who gave His life for us so that through Him we may have Eternal Life?

As we celebrate His Birth a few days from now may we also reflect on His Sacrifice at Calvary on our behalf.


Beneath the cross of Jesus
  I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty Rock
  Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
  A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat,
  And the burden of the day.
2
Oh, safe and happy shelter!
  Oh, refuge tried and sweet!
Oh, trysting place where heaven’s love
  And heaven’s justice meet.
As to the holy patriarch
  That wondrous dream was given,
So is my Savior by the cross
  A ladder up to heaven.
3
There lies beneath its shadow,
  But on the farther side,
The darkness of an awful grave
  That gapes both deep and wide;
And there between us stands the cross,
  Two arms outstretched to save,
Like a watchman set to guard the way
  From that eternal grave.
4
Upon that cross of Jesus
  Mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One,
  Who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart, with tears,
  Two wonders I confess,
The wonders of His glorious love,
  And my own worthlessness.
5
I take, O cross, thy shadow
  For my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
  The sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by,
  To know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame,
  My glory all the cross.

Lyrics:Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane (1830-1869)
Music:Frederick Charles Maker (1844-
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on December 24, 2021, 05:00:01 AM
"That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. ("Father forgive them for they know not what they do")It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. "Whosoever will" may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life."

Our debt is paid in full but we must come to Him in all our filth and hopelessness. He takes us just where we are and transforms our ugliness into His spotless character. Why do so many reject such an unbelievable gift that no human deserves? We may stumble and fall but His longsuffering knocks at our hearts door for entrance again. May we never come to the place where we refuse to let Him in. Some feel unworthy and too sinful for forgiveness but there's not a one who is worthy. He wants our hearts anyway. We have all sinned and that is what makes God's love for us so amazing. I cling to Him for He is my only hope.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Richard Myers on December 24, 2021, 06:46:58 AM
Amen dear sister! What a God do we serve!! As we behold Jesus hanging on the cross for our sins, we are reminded that He hangs there for my sins and the sins of the whole world. By His stripes are we healed. It is especially the closing scenes that draw the heart to our Lord. How could we deny Him the whole heart!

     Arriving at the place of execution, the prisoners were bound to the instruments of torture. The two thieves wrestled in the hands of those who placed them on the cross; but Jesus made no resistance. The mother of Jesus, supported by John the beloved disciple, had followed the steps of her Son to Calvary. She had seen Him fainting under the burden of the cross, and had longed to place a supporting hand beneath His wounded head, and to bathe that brow which had once been pillowed upon her bosom. But she was not permitted this mournful privilege. With the disciples she still cherished the hope that Jesus would manifest His power, and deliver Himself from His enemies. Again her heart would sink as she recalled the words in which He had foretold the very scenes that were then taking place. As the thieves were bound to the cross, she looked on with agonizing suspense. Would He who had given life to the dead suffer Himself to be crucified? Would the Son of God suffer Himself to be thus cruelly slain? Must she give up her faith that Jesus was the Messiah? Must she witness His shame and sorrow, without even the privilege of ministering to Him in His distress? She saw 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.
     The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,--"for they know not what they do." 

If we repent because we see what we have done to Jesus, then that prayer will be answered. If we do not, then God cannot forgive us. As our sister has questioned, why would anyone reject such love? Think of the times we have sinned when we knew of His love? Why would we crucify Christ afresh? We are evil by nature and the flesh will control what we do when we do not cling to Jesus. We must keep Calvary fresh in our minds, for the grace of God is the power that keeps us from sin. Nothing else can.

What was it that gave Christ the power to carry our sins?

 Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.

May it be so with each of us, every day.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 24, 2021, 08:27:33 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon, Sister Dorine and Brother Richard!

Apparently--or on the surface--it might have seemed like Jesus was forsaken at the cross. But was He? No! The Father had not changed, Jesus had not changed, and the Holy Spirit was mightily active to lead all to appreciate the depth of the sacrifice being made for us, both then and forever! While sin cut off Jesus' human life in only a matter of hours, the Father was with His Son, though unseen. Jesus' divinity did not die, but He bore our nature to the point of death as a sinless sacrifice to destroy Satan's power and set us free from sin, that we may affectionately obey God and overcome by having all of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives without one missing! May we learn to exercise the "faith of Jesus" in how He learned to trust the Father's character over the horror of the way sin slew Him in order to redeem us from sin's ruin! What love we see here, and what an anchor to help us in the time of trouble so soon to come upon the world!

"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor." {The Desire of Ages, page 756, paragraph 3}

We can be victorious in Christ in every time of "apparent" failure. Let us remember that as the world's Redeemer Christ was constantly confronted with apparent failure--so do not look the circumstances you face, look to the character of God, the sacrifice made for us at Calvary, and the unchanging promises of His word whereby we may become partakers of the divine nature!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Beacon on March 20, 2022, 08:03:25 PM
"Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe."

"In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him."

"He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love."

"By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey."

"And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn."


"By faith, Christ was victor!!"

Hebrews 11:6 says...
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."


I would like to encourage all us to re-read the "Great Stories of Faith as recorded in God's Word" so that we will be able to recall them when we are required to pass through deep valleys on our journey to the kingdom of our Lord.

Encamped along the hills of light,
  Ye Christian soldiers rise,
And press the battle ere the night
  Shall veil the glowing skies;
Against the foe in vales below
  Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
  That overcomes the world.
    Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory,
  That overcomes the world.
2
His banner over us is love,
  Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints before
  With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
  Swept on o’er every field;
The faith by which they conquered death
  Is still our shining shield.
3
On every hand the foe we find
  Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind,
  And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
  With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
  And echo with our shout.
4
To him that overcomes the foe,
  White raiment shall be giv’n;
Before the angels he shall know
  His name confessed in heav’n;
Then onward from the hills of light,
  Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
  In Jesus’ conqu’ring name.

Lyrics:John Henry Yates (1837-1900)
Music:Ira David Sankey (1840-1908)
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on March 21, 2022, 04:09:00 AM
Praise the Lord, Brother Beacon!

At the eleventh hour--the latest possible time--Jesus can still save to the uttermost! Look to Him and live! Be converted in Him and grow in His supernatural grace so He can produce in your surrendered life all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing as you gladly are empowered to obey God's law of love!

"For long hours of agony, reviling and mockery have fallen upon the ears of Jesus. As He hangs upon the cross, there floats up to Him still the sound of jeers and curses. With longing heart He has listened for some expression of faith from His disciples. He has heard only the mournful words, 'We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.' How grateful then to the Saviour was the utterance of faith and love from the dying thief! While the leading Jews deny Him, and even the disciples doubt His divinity, the poor thief, upon the brink of eternity, calls Jesus Lord. Many were ready to call Him Lord when He wrought miracles, and after He had risen from the grave; but none acknowledged Him as He hung dying upon the cross save the penitent thief who was saved at the eleventh hour." {The Desire of Ages, page 750, paragraph 3}

No matter how sinful we are, we can come to Christ. Look away from the weakness of yourself and choose Christ, cooperating with Him so there can be a renewal of your attitudes, thoughts, habits and character in harmony with His unselfish love!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--78--Calvary
Post by: Dorine on March 21, 2022, 06:22:50 AM
"All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God." "By His own blood" He entereth "in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 10:7; 9:12.

Even after this eventful and terrifying experience and with the evidence of who Christ was, nothing changed. It still has not changed. Hardened hearts are still following their own ways and desires with no consciousness of where they are headed. When conviction comes it stings for only a bit and they are all the more determined to live the way they choose. But thank God for His untiring and longsuffering wooing's to bring lost souls to Him. There will be those who will heed His call and become mighty witnesses for Him. What a privilege is ours to work for these souls for Christ. May we never become weary or tired of well doing.