JESUS and THE GIFT (Part II) by Vernon S. Lamb

Finally, it came time for the Seed of the woman to be born. He would be a child of humanity through His mother, but not through a human father. He took man’s nature, “but not the sinfulness of man.” 1 He did not inherit the “law of sin’”, or He Himself would need a Saviour. 2 As the Son of the living God, Jesus did not inherit the spiritual disease produced by Adam’s sin. The Incarnation did not make Him a sinner. Christ was a spiritual being, spiritually alive, and with the mind of God from birth. 3

Jesus inherited the infirmities of degenerate humanity of 4000 years, which included decreased physical strength and mental power. 4 He had trials in His physical being, and unless He took sufficient rest, drank enough pure water and good nourishing food, His body would deteriorate like any other human being. He became weary in body and brain. We have no idea what hereditary tendencies were transmitted from previous generations, but we know He was “a brother in our infirmities.” 5

Jesus had the natural passions of appetite, feelings and emotions, but “not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity”, such as carnal lusts, impassioned emotions, perverted appetite. 6 “He did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess.” 7

Satan tried over and over to destroy the holy child, but God protected His Son. From the time He was a babe in Bethlehem, He was continually assailed by the evil one. 8

Mary and Joseph were faithful to their trust, and they trained Jesus to surrender to their word. “The life of Jesus was a life in harmony with God. While He was a child, He thought and spoke as a child; but no trace of sin marred the image of God within Him. Yet He was not exempt from temptation…” 9 In youth and manhood, Jesus’ natural passions were always under the control of sanctified reason, and never once did He allow the devil to successfully tempt Him to give in to self.
Jesus understood from an early age that it was His responsibility to prepare the Gift for humanity, and part of that work was to obey His Father’s law. For thirty years His mind and body were trained to obey the Word of God in preparation for the final and most important phase of His work.

During His first thirty years, Jesus had many temptations. “His life was one long struggle against the powers of darkness. He (Satan) left no means untried to ensnare Jesus. No child of humanity will ever be called to live a holy life amid so fierce a conflict with temptation as was our Saviour.” 10

As a young child and youth, Jesus was tempted to give in to appetite every day. He was tempted by his brothers to become angry. He was tempted by his young friends to get into mischief. In every case, He turned to the Word of God, and refused to be drawn to sin, but it “was necessary for Him to be constantly on guard in order to preserve His purity.” 11
Never think that Jesus had an easier life than ours in obeying the law. His temptations were far greater than yours and mine. Not only did Jesus have to battle the natural passions of the body, He also had to restrain His divine power. This was a huge temptation for Christ. 12 He felt pain, and longed for friendship and understanding. He could have become discouraged, but submitted all things to His Father.

When Jesus went to the Jordan River to begin His official Messianic ministry, He knew the next three and a half years would be “the conflict of His life”, however, He was determined to complete the gift of salvation for man. 13
At His baptism, “guilt was imputed to Him (Christ) as the sinner’s substitute. In this act He identified Himself with His people as their representative and head. As their Substitute, He takes upon Him their sins, numbering Himself with the transgressor.” 14

As Jesus came up out of the water, He felt the “terrible weight” of those sins. 15 “The guilt of every sin pressed its weight upon the divine soul of the world’s Redeemer… Though the guilt of sin was not His, His spirit was torn and bruised by the transgressions of men, and He who knew no sin became sin for us.” 16 “Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought was torture to His spirit.” 17 “As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil.” 18

As the second Head of the human race, it was necessary for Christ to be sinless right from conception, but it was also vital He feel the “shame of sin” and the guilt of sinners. 19 Jesus was not infected with the ‘law of sin’, but He experienced the effects of sin. To feel the guilt of sin was a new experience, and a horrible trial, far more than we can ever know.

Kneeling on the river bank, Jesus cried out to His Father to accept humanity in the person of His Son. And the Father answered the petition, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” These words embraced all humanity, as God was speaking to Jesus as our representative. 20

From His baptism, Jesus went to the wilderness to meditate on His work and to pray for strength. In the wilderness, He neither ate nor drank, but how He prayed. The Saviour wept many tears. He suffered the heat of the day and the cold of the night. He was prey to the wild animals, and had only the dry ground for a bed and a rock for a pillow. “He became weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony.” 21

The devil had been watching Jesus for forty days, and at His lowest point took his opportunity. Suddenly Satan appeared with his temptation, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.” Although fainting and ready to collapse, Jesus’ mind was clear. He recognized the angel, heard his deceptive insinuation, and refused to submit.

For three and a half years, the Son of God suffered with sinners in a special way, by continually feeling the weight of sin. He needed to pray constantly for strength to bear it. Jewish leaders tracked Him daily to catch His words and condemn Him. Often He wept and prayed all night that He might have strength to complete His work. And he never sinned once!
At the close of His ministry, the weight of sin appears to be increased, for the prophet says, “upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all.” 22 On reaching Gethsemane, Christ “groaned aloud, as if suffering under the pressure of a terrible burden… He felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape… As a man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.” 22

In the garden Jesus sought release. “Father, let this cup pass from Me…”, but it was not to be, and He submitted, “Not My will, but Thine be done.” “The conflict was terrible… The sins of men weighed heavily upon Christ, and the sense of God’s wrath against sin was crushing out His life.” 24

Jesus was dying. God sent an angel to strengthen Him. He must go on to the end.
After His arrest, Jesus suffered an illegal trial, with many hours standing before His judges. Soldiers buffeted Him until morning. At dawn He faced a second trial before the Sanhedrin, was hurried to Pilate, to Herod, and back again to Pilate. The Roman governor pronounced Him innocent, but commanded soldiers to beat Him with cruel lashes across His back. Compelled to carry His cross, the innocent Sufferer could not take the weight, and while the Cyrenian carried it, Jesus stumbled the weary and painful path to Calvary.

“And they crucified Him…”
Jesus only lasted six hours, and when the cry ascended to heaven – “It is finished” – the Gift was complete.

The Gift belongs to every man, woman and child. As the new Head of the human race, Christ prepared it on our behalf. The Gift was completed by Christ 2000 years ago. It is finished and ready to give to every man, woman, young person and child who desires it. The Gift and all it contains belongs to humanity.

But The Gift must be received.

The man, woman or young person who does not personally claim the Gift is still a lost sinner without hope. Nothing of the Gift is in their possession, even though it is theirs for the taking. They may claim to have faith, or forgiveness, even righteousness, but they are deceived. The Gift is only personally received with true surrender and acceptance of Christ as Saviour and Lord of the Gift.

Bibliography
1. ST. May 29.1901. 14. RH Jan 21. 1873. 1SM 267.8. DA 112.
2. Romans 7:23.17. 15. DA 112.116. 1SM 271.
3. 1 Corinthians 15:45. John 8:21. 16. 1SM 322.
4. DA 117. 17. DA 111.
5. 2T 201. 18. 2T 201.
6. 5 BC 1128. 19. DA 111.
7. 3 SM 131. 20. DA 113.
8. DA 116. 21. DA 118.
9. DA 71 22. DA 685.
10. Ibid. 23. DA 686.
11. Ibid. 24. DA 687.
12. DA 686.700. R&H 09.04.1900.
13. DA 111.

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