Christ Spans the Gulf of Sin - Part 2
A sermon by
Ellen G. White delivered at
Christ died for the sins of the world that we might have an opportunity of showing to the universe loyalty to God and His law. Today He is making an atonement for us before the Father. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1). Pointing to the palms of His hands, pierced by the fury and prejudice of wicked men, He says of us, "I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." The Father bows in recognition of the price paid for humanity, and the angels approach the cross of Calvary with reverence. What a sacrifice is this! Who can fathom it! It will take the whole of eternity for man to understand the plan of redemption. It will open to him line upon line, here a little and there a little.
By transgression man was severed from God, the communion between them was broken. But Jesus Christ died upon the cross of Calvary, bearing in His body the sins of the whole world, and the gulf between heaven and earth was bridged by that cross. Christ leads men to the gulf and points to the bridge by which it is spanned, saying, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24).
God gives us a probation in which we may prove whether or not we will be loyal to Him. Christ calls upon us to lay our sins upon Him, the Sin-Bearer, that we may represent God. But if we refuse to let them go, taking the responsibility ourselves, we will be lost. We may fall upon Christ, the living stone, and be broken, but if that stone falls upon us, it will grind us to powder.
In our warfare we have Christ's promise, "He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him." He manifested Himself to John, who had been banished by his persecutors to the lonely isle of Patmos. But there He who rules the earth and keeps the waters in their appointed channel, manifested Himself to John. "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" (Rev. 1:9-11): "the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (verse 8).
Christ manifested Himself to
Peter, and delivered him from prison by the hand of an angel. He manifested
himself to Stephen, and he, "being full of the Holy Ghost, looked
up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing
on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened,
and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55).