Story of Hope

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Chapter 4 -The Solution

Sorrow filled heaven, as all realized that mankind was lost and the world that God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death, with no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. SH 23.1

Jesus then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost humanity. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father and had offered to give His life a ransom. He would take the sentence of death on Himself, that through Him human beings could find pardon. Through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God and be brought into the beautiful garden and eat from the fruit of the tree of life. SH 23.2

Jesus opened before them the plan of salvation. He told them that He would stand between the wrath of His Father and guilty humanity, that He would bear iniquity and scorn, and only a few would receive Him as the Son of God. Nearly everyone would hate and reject Him. He would leave all His glory in heaven, appear on earth as a man, humble Himself as a man, become acquainted by His own experience with the various temptations that would affect humanity, that He might know how to help those who would be tempted. Finally, after His mission as a teacher would be accomplished, He would be delivered into evil hands and endure almost every cruelty and suffering that Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict. He would die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner and suffering dreadful hours of agony, which even angels could not look upon, but would hide their faces from SH 23.3

This chapter is based on Genesis 3:15, 21-24. the sight. Not merely agony of body would He suffer, but mental agony, to which bodily suffering could not compare. The weight of the sins of the whole world would be on Him. He told them He would die and rise again the third day, and would ascend to His Father to intercede for wayward, guilty human beings.

The One Possible Way of Salvation—The angels bowed down before Him. They offered their lives. Jesus said to them that by His death He would save many, that the life of an angel could not pay the debt. His life alone could His Father accept as a ransom for mankind. Afterward, those whom He redeemed would be with Him, and by His death He would ransom many and destroy Satan, who had the power of death. And His Father would give Him the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and He would possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners would be destroyed, nevermore to disturb heaven or the purified new earth. SH 24.1

But He assigned the angels their work, to ascend and descend with strengthening help from glory to soothe the Son of God in His sufferings and minister to Him. Also, they were to guard and keep the subjects of grace from the evil angels and the darkness that Satan would constantly throw around them. It was impossible for God to alter or change His law to save lost, perishing sinners. Therefore, He allowed His beloved Son to die for their transgression. SH 24.2

Satan again rejoiced with his angels that by causing mankinds fall, he could pull down the Son of God from His exalted position. He told his angels that when Jesus would take the nature of fallen humanity, he could overpower Him and prevent the success of the plan of salvation. SH 24.3

In humility and inexpressible sadness Adam and Eve left the lovely garden where they had been so happy until they disobeyed the command of God. The atmosphere was changed. It was no longer unvarying, as it had been before their sin. God clothed them with coats of skins to protect them from the sense of chilliness and then of heat to which they were exposed. SH 24.4

God’s Unchangeable Law—All heaven mourned because of Adam and Eves disobedience and fall, which brought the wrath of God upon the whole human race. They were cut off from fellowship with God and were plunged in hopeless misery. SH 25.1

The law of Jehovah, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth, was as sacred as God Himself, and for this reason God could not accept the life of an angel as a sacrifice for its transgression. His law is more important in His sight than the holy angels around His throne. The Father could not abolish or change one precept of His law to meet human beings in their fallen condition. But the Son of God, who with the Father had created them, could make an atonement for them that was acceptable to God, by giving His life as a sacrifice and bearing the wrath of His Father. Angels informed Adam that, as his sin had brought death and wretchedness, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ would bring life and immortality to light. SH 25.2

A View of the Future—God revealed future important events to Adam, from his expulsion from Eden to the Flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ on the earth. His love for Adam and his posterity would lead the Son of God to step down to take human nature, and so, through His own humiliation, elevate all who would believe on Him. Such a sacrifice was valuable enough to save the whole world. But only a few would accept the salvation brought to them through such a wonderful sacrifice. The majority would not comply with the conditions required of them to receive His great salvation. They would prefer sin and transgression of the law of God rather than repentance and obedience, relying by faith on the merits of the sacrifice offered. This sacrifice was of such infinite value as to make anyone who would accept it more precious than fine gold. SH 25.3

The Sacrificial Offering—When Adam made an offering for sin according to Gods special directions, it was a most painful ceremony for him. His hand must take life, which God alone could give, and make an offering for sin. It was the first time he had witnessed death. As he looked at the bleeding victim, writhing in the agonies of death, he was to look forward by faith to the Son of God, whom the victim prefigured, who was to die as mankind s sacrifice. SH 26.1

This ceremonial offering, which God established, was to be a perpetual reminder to Adam of his guilt and also a repentant admission of his sin. This act of taking life gave Adam a deeper and more perfect sense of his transgression, which nothing less than the death of Gods Son could wash away. He marveled at the infinite goodness and matchless love that would give such a ransom to save the guilty. As Adam was killing the innocent victim, it seemed to him that he was shedding the blood of the Son of God by his own hand. He knew that if he had remained true to God and to His holy law, there would have been no death of beast or human. Yet in the sacrificial offerings, which pointed to the great and perfect offering of God s own Son, there appeared a star of hope to illuminate the dark and terrible future, relieving it of its complete hopelessness and ruin. SH 26.2

In the beginning the head of each family was considered ruler and priest of his own household. Afterward, as the race multiplied on the earth, men of divine appointment performed this solemn worship of sacrifice for the people. The minds of sinners were to associate the blood of animals with the blood of the Son of God. The death of the victim was to testify to all that the penalty of sin was death. By the act of sacrifice, sinners acknowledged their guilt and showed their faith, looking forward to the great and perfect sacrifice of the Son of God, which the offering of animals prefigured. Without the atonement of the Son of God there could be no imparting of blessing or salvation from God to sinners. God was serious about upholding the honor of His law. The transgression of that law caused a fearful separation between God and sinners. God allowed Adam in his innocence to have direct, free, and happy communion with his Maker. After his transgression, God would communicate to humanity through Christ and angels. SH 26.3