“Christ exalted the character of God, attributing to him the praise, and giving to him the credit, of the whole purpose of his own mission on earth.”
“Through the death of Christ a door of hope was opened for fallen man. Man was under sentence of death for the transgression of the law of God. He was under condemnation as a traitor, as a rebel; but Christ came to be his substitute, to die as a malefactor, to suffer the penalty of the traitors, bearing the weight of their sins upon his divine soul. He descended lower and lower till there was no lower depths of humiliation to sound in order that he might lift up those who would believe in him, and cleanse the guilty from moral defilement, and impart to them his own righteousness. He died to make an atonement, to redeem, cleanse, restore, and exalt man to a place at his right hand.
“Through his life upon earth he scattered blessings wherever he went. Though at his word legions of angels would render him homage, yet he walked the earth unhonored, unconfessed. In place of praise he met reproach. He walked among men as one of the poor and lowly. Though he healed the sick, relieved the oppressed, bound up the broken hearted, yet few called him blessed, and the great of the earth passed him by with disdain.
“As a member of the human family he was mortal, but as God he was a fountain of life to the world. He could have withstood the advances of death and refused to come under its dominion, but voluntarily he laid down his life that he might bring life and immortality to light. He bore the sin of the world, endured the penalty, yielded up his life as a sacrifice, that man should not eternally die. Contrast his suffering and humiliation with the riches of his glory, with the wealth of praise pouring forth from immortal tongues, with the anthems of adoration, with the homage of millions of holy angels in the heights of the sanctuary, and seek to comprehend what manner of love inspired the heart of Jesus.
“How much has God loved the race of men?—Look to Calvary. As you behold Jesus upon the cross, does not the heinous character of sin appear? It was sin that caused the death of God’s dear Son, and sin is the transgression of the law. Says the prophet: ‘Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.’ When the sinner realizes that Christ died for him, that he might impute his righteousness unto him, he magnifies the love of God in providing the plan of salvation.
“ ‘The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ At infinite cost the salvation of man has been purchased. The world may refuse the gift, but this will not lessen its value, or relieve men of its responsibility. When he was upon earth Jesus said to those who refused him, ‘Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.’ There are many who are refusing to respond to the drawing love of Christ today. Jesus calls, but many refuse to respond to the invitation. They will not avail themselves of the privilege of having Jesus for their personal Saviour. They do not come in humility and faith, that they may know by a personal experience what they are to Jesus, and what he is to them. But the promise is, ‘He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.’ Jesus will not rest until he leads his followers unto the realms of perfect joy and glory.
“The plans of God cannot fail. Men make great plans, but fail to accomplish the object that they design. They begin to build and are not able to finish. They do not count the cost. But Jesus counted the cost of the salvation of every son and daughter of Adam. He provided abundant means whereby all might be saved, if they would but comply with the conditions and lay hold upon eternal life. Unfailing resources are at his command to complete the work which he has begun. Those who respond to his love, yielding their wills to him, will not perish, but have everlasting life.”1
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“Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son! Truth came forth from the lips of Jesus, uncorrupted with human philosophy. His words were from heaven, such as mortal lips had never spoken nor mortal ears ever heard. His heart was an altar on which burned the flames of infinite love. Goodness, mercy, and love were enthroned in the breast of the Son of God. He set up his tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment, pitched his tent by the side of the tents of men, that he might dwell among them and make them familiar with his divine character and love. No one could love Christ and pay homage to him without serving and honoring the infinite God. Those who had an appreciation of the character and mission of Christ, were filled with reverence and awe, as they looked upon him and felt that they were looking upon the temple of the living God. Officers were sent to take the Son of God, that the temple in which God was enshrined might be destroyed. But as they drew near and heard the words of divine wisdom that fell from his lips, they were charmed, and the power and excellence of his instruction so filled their hearts and minds that they forgot the purpose for which they had been sent. Christ revealed himself to their souls. Divinity flashed through humanity, and they returned so filled with this one thought, so charmed with the ideas he had presented, that when the leaders of Israel inquired, ‘Why have ye not brought him?’ they replied, ‘Never man spake like this man.’ They had seen that which priests and rulers would not see,—humanity flooded with the light and glory of divinity. Those who would behold this glory would be drawn to love Jesus and to love the Father whom he represented. Christ exalted the character of God, attributing to him the praise, and giving to him the credit, of the whole purpose of his own mission on earth,—to set men right through the revelation of God. In Christ was arrayed before men the paternal grace and the matchless perfections of the Father. In his prayer just before his crucifixion, he declared, ‘I have manifested thy name.’ ‘I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.’ When the object of his mission was attained,—the revelation of God to the world,—the Son of God announced that his work was accomplished, and that the character of the Father was made manifest to men.”2