“Oh, how inefficient, how incapable I am of expressing the things which burn in my soul in reference to the mission of Christ! . . . I know not how to speak or trace with pen the large subject of the atoning sacrifice. I know not how to present subjects in the living power in which they stand before me. I tremble for fear lest I shall belittle the great plan of salvation by cheap words.”—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. 115.
“The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for the most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. . . . As we thus contemplate heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger, and our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and a daily, living experience in His power to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.”—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 89.
In Scripture God is portrayed both as a great Lover of sinners and also as extremely wrathful against sin. Some Christians try to pick one or the other as representing God’s nature. Why is that unnecessary? In fact, why is God’s love for sinners one of the main reasons why He is wrathful against sin?
God’s love is not like the feeble and sometimes irregular affection that we bestow on one another. What does Christ’s act as Savior teach us about divine love?
How does your understanding of God’s holiness, in contrast to our sinfulness, help you better understand why our salvation cost so much?
Dwell more on the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. What others ways does it help us understand the nature of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf? At the same time, in what ways does it barely do justice to what it was intended to symbolize?
From the earliest pages of Genesis, the Bible points us to the death of Christ on the cross, where He would die a sinner’s death in order to redeem us, as sinners, from the eternal destruction that sin brings. Though the Bible uses different symbols and metaphors to explain Christ’s death, at the center of it all is His substitution, so graphically expressed in Isaiah 53. If we ever needed proof that works couldn’t save us, we have it with the death of God Himself on the cross. After all, what could fallen beings ever add to that?