The Irrevocable Decision of Jesus in Gethsemane
In Gethsemane He made the irrevocable decision to die the second death, fromwhich there can be no hope of a resurrection! 'He suffered the death which
," says Sister White, "that we might receive the life which
." Desireof Ages, 25. That's plain! In Gethsemane, He relinquished His eternal life; Herelinquished His body and blood -- that former body and blood that representedHis great eternal heritage -- His Word, and His Spirit, and all things that had beenwritten into His creation, and the Spirit of eternal life! He relinquished them! AndHe cried, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?' (Mark 15:34). And Hesaid to His disciples at the last supper: 'I will not again partake of this emblemuntil I partake of it anew with you in the kingdom.' (cf. Matt. 26:29). And in thekingdom, He will partake of it anew through the marriage ceremony, when Hebecomes united with the rest of His body in the marriage union with His bride --the saints!His body you see, is now divided; it is broken and given to His saints to eat -- toassimilate. And in the marriage union of the Lamb with His saints, the new bodyof Christ is restored -- it is restructured. And now Jesus is the Head of that body,but His people are the members. Anybody knows that the head would have adifficult time functioning without the body. Christ needs His new temple of saints,to function through them!This was the sacrifice He made; this was the [crowning] gift He gave. His heritageshould now be in them -- that they were to be His body through whom He wouldoperate on a voluntary basis. No more could anyone challenge the integrity ofChrist. Never could anyone say that He was the autocrat, the dictatorial ruler! Heis now the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace. And if the hand refuses todo the bidding of the head, it is not done. Only by means of the hand can it bedone. So when the head requires the hand or requests the hand to do a task, the"hand" must voluntarily do it, if it is to be done. The kingdom of heaven will bebased on voluntary allegiance; there will be no force. The drawing andconstraining power of love for Jesus will motivate the active response! When thisenormous sacrifice of Christ is seen in all its glory, God's people will loathethemselves for their iniquities. They cannot ever again bring themselves to sinagainst their Redeemer. They know that He has declared them righteous forever,and that He has declared Himself their High Priest forever, and that if ever againthey should sin, they would not jeopardize their eternal life; but they would jeopardize the peace and the freedom from suffering of their Saviour; for He is theone who must bear the consequences of such a sin!Victory over sin, refusal to sin, is a voluntary thing. If it were made a condition ofeternal life, then sinlessness would be motivated by selfishness; and that is acontradiction. For sin, basic sin, is selfishness; and sin cannot be eradicated untilselfishness is destroyed and selflessness rules.
And that could only be done asChrist would take the sinner's penalty forever; and the saint wouldvoluntarily refuse to sin, because he knows that if he did sin, Christ wouldbe the sufferer -- not he himself. Thus selfishness is placed on an entirelyvoluntary basis! I hope I have made my point.