During the Jewish economy, at appointed times God sent prophets and messengers to receive His portion from the husbandmen. These messengers saw that everything was being appropriated to a wrong use, and the Spirit of God inspired them to warn the people of their unfaithfulness. But though the people were convicted in regard to their unrighteous course, they would not yield, but became more stubborn. Entreaties and arguments were of no avail. They hated reproof. . . .
For centuries God looked with patience and forbearance upon the cruel treatment given to His ambassadors, at His holy law prostrate, despised, trampled underfoot. He swept away the inhabitants of the Noachian world with a flood. But when the earth was again pebpled, men drew away from God, and renewed their hostility to Him, manifesting bold defiance. Those whom God rescued from Egyptian bondage followed in the footsteps of those who had preceded them. Cause was followed by effect; the earth was being corrupted.
A crisis had arrived in the government of God. The earth was filled with transgression. The voices of those who had been sacrificed to human envy and hatred were crying beneath the altar for retribution. All heaven was prepared at the word of God to move to the help of His elect. One word from Him, and the bolts of heaven would have fallen upon the earth, filling it with fire and flame. God had but to speak, and there would have been thunderings and lightnings and earthquakes and destruction.
The heavenly intelligences were prepared for a fearful manifestation of Almighty power. Every move was watched with intense anxiety. The exercise of justice was expected. The angels looked for God to punish the inhabitants of the earth. But "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "I will send My beloved Son," He said. "It may be they will reverence Him." Amazing grace ! Christ came not to condemn the world, but to save the world. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
The heavenly universe was amazed at God's patience and love. To save fallen humanity the Son of God took humanity upon Himself, laying aside His kingly crown and royal robe. He became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich. One with God, He alone was capable of accomplishing the work of redemption, and He consented to an actual union with man. In His sinlessness, He would bear every transgression.
The love that Christ manifested cannot be comprehended by mortal man. It is a mystery too deep for the human mind to fathom. Christ did in reality unite the offending nature of man with His own sinless nature, because by this act of condescension He would be enabled to pour out His blessings in behalf of the fallen race. Thus He has made it possible for us to partake of His nature. By making Himself an offering for sin, He opened a way whereby human beings might be made one with Him. He placed Himself in man's position, becoming capable of suffering. The whole of His earthly life was a preparation for the altar. Christ points us to the key of all His suffering and humiliation—the love of God.—Ellen G. White in Review and Herald, July 17, 1900.