The Iniquity of us all - For עון avon, "iniquity," the ancient interpreters read עונות avonoth, "iniquities," plural; and so the Vulgate in MS. Blanchini. And the Lord hath בו הפגיע hiphgia bo, caused to meet in him the iniquities of us all. He was the subject on which all the rays collected on the focal point fell. These fiery rays, which should have fallen on all mankind, diverged from Divine justice to the east, west, north, and south, were deflected from them, and converged in him. So the Lord hath caused to meet in him the punishment due to the iniquities of All.
All we, like sheep, have gone astray - This is the penitent confession of those for whom he suffered. It is an acknowledgment that they were going astray from God; and the reason why the Redeemer suffered was, that the race had wandered away, and that Yahweh had laid on him the iniquity of all. Calvin says, ‹In order that he might more deeply impress on the minds of people the benefits derived from the death of Christ, he shows how necessary was that healing of which he had just made mention. There is here an elegant antithesis. For in ourselves we were scattered; in Christ we are collected together; by nature we wander, and are driven headlong toward destruction; in Christ we find the way by which we are led to the gate of life.‘ The condition of the race without a Redeemer is here elegantly compared to a flock without a shepherd, which wanders where it chooses, and which is exposed to all dangers. This image is not unfrequently used to denote estrangement from God 1 Peter 2:25: ‹For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.‘ Compare Numbers 27:17; 1 Kings 22:17; Psalm 119:176; Ezekiel 34:5; Zechariah 10:2; Matthew 9:36. Nothing could more strikingly represent the condition of human beings. They had wandered from God. They were following their own paths, and pursuing their own pleasures. They were without a protector, and they were exposed on every hand to danger.
We have turned every one to his own way - We had all gone in the path which we chose. We were like sheep which have no shepherd, and which wander where they please, with no one to collect, defend, or guide them. One would wander in one direction, and another in another; and, of course, solitary and unprotected. they would be exposed to the more danger. So it was, and is, with man. The bond which should have united him to the Great Shepherd, the Creator, has been broken. We have become lonely wanderers, where each one pursues his own interest, forms his own plans, and seeks to gratify his own pleasures, regardless of the interest of the whole. If we had not sinned, there would have been a common bond to unite us to God, and to each other. But now we, as a race, have become dissocial, selfish, following our own pleasures, and each one living to gratify his Own passions. What a true and graphic description of man! How has it been illustrated in all the selfish schemes and purposes of the race! And how is it still illustrated every day in the plans and actions of mortals!
And the Lord hath laid on him - Lowth renders this, ‹Yahweh hath made to light on him the iniquity of us all.‘ Jerome (the Vulgate) renders it, Posuit Dominns in eo - ‹The Lord placed on him the iniquity of us all.‘ The Septuagint renders it. Κύριος παρέδωκεν αὐτὸν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ἡμῶν Kurios paredōken auton tais hamartiais hēmōn - ‹The Lord gave him for our sins.‘ The Chaldee renders it, ‹From the presence of the Lord there was a willingness (רעוא ra‛ăvâ' ) to forgive the sins of all of us on account of him.‘ The Syriac has the same word as the Hebrew. The word used here (פגע pâga‛ ) means, properly, to strike upon or against, to impinge on anyone or anything, as the Greek πηγνύω pēgnuō It is used in a hostile sense, to denote an act of rushing upon a foe (1 Samuel 22:17; to kill, to slay Judges 8:21; Judges 15:12; 2 Samuel 1:15. It also means to light upon, to meet with anyone Genesis 28:11; Genesis 32:2. Hence, also to make peace with anyone; to strike a league or compact Isaiah 64:4. It is rendered, in our English version, ‹reacheth to‘ Joshua 19:11, Joshua 19:22, Joshua 19:26-27, Joshua 19:34; ‹came,‘ Joshua 16:7; ‹met‘ and ‹meet‘ Genesis 32:1; Exodus 23:4; Numbers 35:19; Joshua 2:16; Joshua 18:10; Rth 2:22 ; 1 Samuel 10:5; Isaiah 64:5; Amos 5:19; ‹fail‘ Judges 8:21; 1 Samuel 22:17; 2 Samuel 1:15; 1 Kings 2:29; ‹entreat‘ Genesis 18:8; Rth 1:16 ; Jeremiah 15:11; ‹make intercession‘ Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 53:12; Jeremiah 7:16; Jeremiah 27:18; Jeremiah 36:25; ‹he that comes between‘ Job 36:22; and ‹occur‘ 1 Kings 5:4. The radical idea seems to be that of meeting, occurring, encountering; and it means here, as Lowth has rendered it, that they were caused to meet on him, or perhaps more properly, that Yahweh caused them to rush upon him, so as to overwhelm him in calamity, as one is overcome or overwhelmed in battle. The sense is, that he was not overcome by his own sins, but that he encountered ours, as if they had been made to rush to meet him and to prostrate him. That is, he suffered in our stead; and whatever he was called to endure was in consequence of the fact that he had taken the place of sinners; and having taken their place, he met or encountered the sufferings which were the proper expressions of God‘s displeasure, and sunk under the mighty burden of the world‘s atonement.
The iniquity of us all - (See the notes at Isaiah 53:5). This cannot mean that he became a sinner, or was guilty in the sight of God, for God always regarded him as an innocent being. It can only mean that he suffered as if he had been a sinner; or, that he suffered that which, if he had been a sinner, would have been a proper expression of the evil of sin. It may be remarked here:
1. That it is impossible to find stronger language to denote the fact that his sufferings were intended to make expiation for sin. Of what martyr could it be said that Yahweh had caused to meet on him the sins of the world?
2. This language is that which naturally expresses the idea that he suffered for all people. It is universal in its nature, and naturally conveys the idea that there was no limitation in respect to the number of those for whom he died.
Energy and Willingness—Success depends not so much on talent as on energy and willingness. It is not the possession of splendid talents that enables us to render acceptable service; but the conscientious performance of daily duties, the contented spirit, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others. In the humblest lot true excellence may be found. The commonest tasks, wrought with loving faithfulness, are beautiful in God's sight.—Prophets and Kings, 219 (1916). CM 76.1
No Place for Indolence—Let no one think that he is at liberty to fold his hands and do nothing. That anyone can be saved in indolence and inactivity is an utter impossibility. Think of what Christ accomplished during His earthly ministry. How earnest, how untiring, were His efforts! He allowed nothing to turn Him aside from the work given Him. Are we following in His footsteps? He gave up all to carry out God's plan of mercy for the fallen race. In the fulfillment of the purpose of heaven, He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He had had no communion with sin, had known nothing of it; but He came to this world, and took upon His sinless soul the guilt of sinful man, that sinners might stand justified before God. He grappled with temptation, overcoming in our behalf. The Son of God, pure and unsullied, bore the penalty of transgression, and received the stroke of death that brought deliverance to the race.—The Review and Herald, January 20, 1903. CM 76.2Read in context »
(Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15; 2 Peter 1:4.) The Power That Man May Command—The Son of God was assaulted at every step by the powers of darkness. After His baptism He was driven of the Spirit into the wilderness, and suffered temptation for forty days. Letters have been coming in to me, affirming that Christ could not have had the same nature as man, for if He had, He would have fallen under similar temptations. If He did not have man's nature, He could not be our example. If He was not a partaker of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for Him to yield to temptation, He could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battles as man, in man's behalf. His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature. 5BC 1082.1
In Christ, divinity and humanity were combined. Divinity was not degraded to humanity; divinity held its place, but humanity, by being united to divinity, withstood the fiercest test of temptation in the wilderness. The prince of this world came to Christ after His long fast, when He was an hungered, and suggested to Him to command the stones to become bread. But the plan of God, devised for the salvation of man, provided that Christ should know hunger, and poverty, and every phase of man's experience. He withstood the temptation, through the power that man may command. He laid hold on the throne of God, and there is not a man or woman who may not have access to the same help through faith in God. Man may become a partaker of the divine nature; not a soul lives who may not summon the aid of Heaven in temptation and trial. Christ came to reveal the source of His power, that man might never rely on his unaided human capabilities. 5BC 1082.2
Those who would overcome must put to the tax every power of their being. They must agonize on their knees before God for divine power. Christ came to be our example, and to make known to us that we may be partakers of the divine nature. How?—By having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Satan did not gain the victory over Christ. He did not put his foot upon the soul of the Redeemer. He did not touch the head though he bruised the heel. Christ, by His own example, made it evident that man may stand in integrity. Men may have a power to resist evil—a power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master; a power that will place them where they may overcome as Christ overcame. Divinity and humanity may be combined in them (The Review and Herald, February 18, 1890). 5BC 1082.3
(Isaiah 53:6; 2 Corinthians 5:21.) The Terrible Consequences of Transgression—Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation is resisted when man is powerfully influenced to do a wrong action and, knowing that he can do it, resists, by faith, with a firm hold upon divine power. This was the ordeal through which Christ passed. He could not have been tempted in all points as man is tempted, had there been no possibility of His failing. He was a free agent, placed on probation, as was Adam, and as is every man. In His closing hours, while hanging upon the cross, He experienced to the fullest extent what man must experience when striving against sin. He realized how bad a man may become by yielding to sin. He realized the terrible consequences of the transgression of God's law; for the iniquity of the whole world was upon Him (The Youth's Instructor, July 20, 1899). 5BC 1082.4
Christ a Free Moral Agent—The temptations to which Christ was subjected were a terrible reality. As a free agent, He was placed on probation, with liberty to yield to Satan's temptations and work at cross-purposes with God. If this were not so, if it had not been possible for Him to fall, He could not have been tempted in all points as the human family is tempted (The Youth's Instructor, October 26, 1899). 5BC 1082.5
Christ on Probation—For a period of time Christ was on probation. He took humanity on Himself, to stand the test and trial which the first Adam failed to endure. Had He failed in His test and trial, He would have been disobedient to the voice of God, and the world would have been lost (The Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899). 5BC 1082.6Read in context »
The Elder Brother of our race is by the eternal throne. He looks upon every soul who is turning his face toward Him as the Saviour. He knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity, what are our wants, and where lies the strength of our temptations; for He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He is watching over you, trembling child of God. Are you tempted? He will deliver. Are you weak? He will strengthen. Are you ignorant? He will enlighten. Are you wounded? He will heal. The Lord “telleth the number of the stars;” and yet “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 147:4, 3. “Come unto Me,” is His invitation. Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance. The way will be opened for you to disentangle yourself from embarrassment and difficulty. The weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength. The heavier your burdens, the more blessed the rest in casting them upon the Burden Bearer. The rest that Christ offers depends upon conditions, but these conditions are plainly specified. They are those with which all can comply. He tells us just how His rest is to be found. DA 329.1
“Take My yoke upon you,” Jesus says. The yoke is an instrument of service. Cattle are yoked for labor, and the yoke is essential that they may labor effectually. By this illustration Christ teaches us that we are called to service as long as life shall last. We are to take upon us His yoke, that we may be co-workers with Him. DA 329.2
The yoke that binds to service is the law of God. The great law of love revealed in Eden, proclaimed upon Sinai, and in the new covenant written in the heart, is that which binds the human worker to the will of God. If we were left to follow our own inclinations, to go just where our will would lead us, we should fall into Satan's ranks and become possessors of his attributes. Therefore God confines us to His will, which is high, and noble, and elevating. He desires that we shall patiently and wisely take up the duties of service. The yoke of service Christ Himself has borne in humanity. He said, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. “I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” John 6:38. Love for God, zeal for His glory, and love for fallen humanity, brought Jesus to earth to suffer and to die. This was the controlling power of His life. This principle He bids us adopt. DA 329.3Read in context »
Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt. DA 753.1
Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God. DA 753.2
With amazement angels witnessed the Saviour's despairing agony. The hosts of heaven veiled their faces from the fearful sight. Inanimate nature expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness, like a funeral pall, enveloped the cross. “There was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” There was no eclipse or other natural cause for this darkness, which was as deep as midnight without moon or stars. It was a miraculous testimony given by God that the faith of after generations might be confirmed. DA 753.3Read in context »