Christ Humbled Himself

Ellen G. White


"He descended lower and lower, till there were 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."

The Mighty and Inspiring Conflict

January 5, 1915

To Save Man He Took the Eternal Risk—The Universe Looked On—Unfallen Angels Admired and Adored—The Depths of Infinite Love Revealed—Abundant Provision for Every One

The coming of Christ to our world was a great event, not only to this world, but to all the worlds in the universe of God. Before the heavenly intelligences He was to take upon Himself our nature, to be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet to leave an example of perfect purity and unblemished character. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 1 }

Satan and his angels exulted as they discovered that the Son of God had taken upon Himself the nature of man, and had come to be man’s substitute, to engage in the conflict in our behalf. The human family had been overpowered by the deception of the enemy; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and the enemy hoped that Christ also would become a victim to his seductive wiles. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 2 }


Whole Confederacy Attacked Him

Satan gloried in the opportunity of besieging the Son of God with fierce temptations. Because He had taken upon Himself the nature of man, Satan deemed that his victory was certain, and with every malignant device in his power he strove to overcome Christ. The steadfast resistance of Christ to the temptations of the enemy brought the whole confederacy of evil to war against Him. Evil men and evil angels united their forces against the Prince of peace. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 3 }


He Took the Infinite Risk

The issues at stake were beyond the comprehension of men, and the temptations that assailed Christ were as much more intense and subtle than those which assail man as His character was purer and more exalted than is the character of man in his moral and physical defilement. In His conflict with the prince of darkness in this atom of a world, Christ had to meet the whole confederacy of evil, the united forces of the adversary of God and man; but at every point He met the tempter, and put him to flight. Christ was conqueror over the powers of darkness, and took the infinite risk of consenting to war with the enemy, that He might conquer him in our behalf. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 4 }

The Redeemer of the world clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might reach humanity; for, in order to bring to the world salvation, it was necessary that humanity and divinity should be united. Divinity needed humanity, that humanity might afford a channel of communication between God and man, and humanity needed divinity, that a power from above might restore man to the likeness of God. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 5 }

Christ was God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the tokens of divinity, which had commanded the homage of angels and called forth the adoration of the universe of God. He made Himself of no reputation, took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 6 }


Descended to the Depths of Woe

He humbled Himself to pass through man’s experiences, and He would not turn aside from the plan by which salvation could come to man. Knowing all the steps in the path of His humiliation, He refused not to descend step by step to the depths of man’s woe, that He might make expiation for the sins of the condemned, perishing world. What humility was this! It amazed the angels. Tongue can never describe it. Pen can never portray it. The imagination can not take it in. Sinless and exalted by nature, the Son of God consented to take the habiliments of humanity, to become one with the fallen race. The eternal Word consented to be made flesh. God became man. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 7 }

But He stepped still lower; He humbled Himself to bear insult, reproach, accusation, and shameful abuse. In the world which He had made, which was sustained by the word of His power there seemed to be no room for Him. He had to flee from one place to another until His life work was accomplished. He was betrayed by one of His followers, and denied by another. He was mocked and taunted. He was crowned with thorns, and forced to bear the burden of the cross. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 8 }


Felt Its Bitterness and Endured it All

He was not insensible to ignominy and contempt; He submitted to it, but He felt its bitterness as no other being could feel it. Pure, holy, and undefiled, He was yet arraigned as a criminal before the eyes of the world. From the highest exaltation the adorable Redeemer took step after step in the path of humiliation. He consented to die in the sinner’s stead, that by a life of obedience man might escape the penalty of the law. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 9 }

He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death. And what a death! It was the most shameful, the most cruel,—the death upon the cross as a malefactor. He died not as a hero in the eyes of men, loaded with honors; He died as a condemned criminal, suspended between the heavens and the earth—died a lingering death, exposed to the tauntings and revilings of a debased and profligate mob. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 10 }

“All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.” He was numbered with the transgressors, and even His kinsmen according to the flesh disowned Him. He was forced to see the sword pierce the heart of His mother,—He beheld her sorrow. He expired amidst derision. But all His sufferings were counted as of small account in consideration of the result He was working out in behalf of man, and for the good of the whole universe. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 11 }


The Cry Resounded in All the Universe

He expired on the cross exclaiming, “It is finished,” and that cry rang through every world, and through heaven itself. The great contest between Christ, the Prince of life, and Satan, the prince of darkness, was practically over, and Christ was conqueror. His death answered the question as to whether there was self-denial with the Father and the Son. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 12 }

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 were 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. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 13 }


He Walked the Earth Unhonored, Unconfessed

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. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 14 }


He Gave His Life To Bring Life

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. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 15 }

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.” { ST January 5, 1915, par. 16 }

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. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 17 }


Many Refuse Life

“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 to 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. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 18 }


Unfailing Resources Are Available

The plans of God can not 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. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 19 }

How the wondrous provision of the plan of God for the salvation of men widens and exalts our ideas of the love of God! How it binds our hearts to the great heart of infinite love! How it makes us delight in His service, as our hearts respond to the drawing of His loving-kindness and loving mercy! { ST January 5, 1915, par. 20 }

John calls upon men to behold the marvelous love of God. He exclaims: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” Those who are true, who are pure, who love and obey the words of God, will be counted children of the heavenly King, members of the royal family, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ. { ST January 5, 1915, par. 21 }—Ellen White, Signs of the Times, January 5, 1915


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