< Prev 1
... Next >
God’s Ultimate Argument
As the ministry of Christ came to a close and the time drew
near that Jesus would be crucified, He took His disciples to the garden of
Gethsemane, where He spent the night in prayer for strength to meet Satan in
one last great struggle. Choosing to be made sin for us (see 2 Corinthians
5:21; Galatians 3:13), Jesus experienced what it will be like when God completely
withdraws His favor from those who refuse to repent.
In the wilderness of temptation the destiny of the human race
had been at stake. Christ was then conqueror. Now the tempter had come for the
last fearful struggle. For this he had been preparing during the three years of
Christ’s ministry. Everything was at stake with him. If he failed here, his
hope of mastery was lost; the kingdoms of the world would finally become
Christ’s; he himself would be overthrown and cast out. But if Christ could be
overcome, the earth would become Satan’s kingdom, and the human race would be
forever in his power. With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ’s soul
was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became
the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be
identified with Satan’s kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God.
. . .
Behold Him contemplating the price to be paid for the human
soul. In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from
being drawn farther from God. The chilling dew of night falls upon His
prostrate form, but He heeds it not. From His pale lips comes the bitter cry,
“O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Yet even now He
adds, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39.
The Desire of Ages, p. 686-687
Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity
shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race
comes up before the world’s Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the
law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He
sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before
Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man
at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him
perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven,
where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one
world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission.
He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer
now breathes only submission: “If this cup cannot pass away from Me, unless I
drink it, Your will be done.” Matthew 26:42.
The Desire of Ages, p. 692-693
“It Is Finished”
Committing Himself to accept His Father’s will and pay the
price for our sins, Jesus allowed Himself to be betrayed by one of His
disciples, tried and condemned by His own chosen people, and put to death by
one of the cruelest methods of that day. The death of Jesus at first seemed to
be a victory for Satan. However, it foreshadowed the day when the devil and all
who remain loyal to him will be eternally destroyed:
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. . . .
At the beginning of the great controversy, . . . had
Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin, they
would have perished; but it would not have been apparent to heavenly beings
that this was the inevitable result of sin. A doubt of God’s goodness would
have remained in their minds as evil seed, to produce its deadly fruit of sin
But not so when the great controversy shall be ended. Then, the
plan of redemption having been completed, the character of God is revealed to
all created intelligences. The precepts of His law are seen to be perfect and
immutable. Then sin has made manifest its nature, Satan his character. Then the
extermination of sin will vindicate God’s love and establish His honor before a
universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law.
. . .
Christ Himself fully comprehended the results of the sacrifice
made upon Calvary. To all these He looked forward when upon the cross He cried
out, “It is finished.”
The Desire of Ages, p. 763-764
Jesus’ perfect life demonstrated the falsity of Satan’s
claim that it is impossible for man, when he is connected to divine power, to
obey God’s law. Jesus also demonstrated, contrary to Satan’s accusations, that
God is love, for only a loving God would allow His Son to die to redeem
mankind. In his ongoing war against God, what new
lies would Satan now invent?
All Scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version,
including those originally quoted by Ellen White from the King James
< Prev 1
... Next >