Christ Our Hope and Example

The humiliation and agonizing sufferings of Christ in the wilderness of temptation were for the race. In Adam all was lost by transgression. Through Christ was man's only hope of restoration to the favor of God. Man had separated himself at such distance from God by transgression of His law that he could not humiliate himself before God in any degree proportionate to the magnitude of his sin. The Son of God could fully understand the aggravating sins of the transgressor, and in His sinless character He alone could make an acceptable atonement for man in suffering the agonizing sense of His Father's displeasure. The sorrow and anguish of the Son of God for the sins of the world were proportionate to His divine excellence and purity, as well as to the magnitude of the offense. Con 50.1

Christ was our example in all things. As we see His humiliation in the long trial and fast to overcome the temptation of appetite in our behalf, we are to learn how to overcome when we are tempted. If the power of appetite is so strong upon the human family and its indulgence so fearful that the Son of God subjected Himself to such a test, how important that we feel the necessity of having appetite under the control of reason. Our Saviour fasted nearly six weeks that He might gain for man the victory upon the point of appetite. How can professed Christians with enlightened consciences, and with Christ before them as their pattern, yield to the indulgence of those appetites which have an enervating influence upon the mind and body? It is a painful fact that habits of self-gratification at the expense of health and moral power are at the present time holding a large share of the Christian world in the bonds of slavery. Con 50.2

Many who profess godliness do not inquire into the reason of Christ's long period of fasting and suffering in the wilderness. His anguish was not so much from the pangs of hunger as from His sense of the fearful result of the indulgence of appetite and passion upon the race. He knew that appetite would be man's idol and would lead him to forget God and would stand directly in the way of his salvation. Con 51.1

Our Saviour showed perfect confidence that His heavenly Father would not suffer Him to be tempted above what He should give Him strength to endure, but would bring Him off conqueror if He patiently bore the test to which He was subjected. Christ had not of His own will placed Himself in danger. God had suffered Satan for the time being to have this power over His Son. Jesus knew that if He preserved His integrity in this extremely trying position an angel of God would be sent to relieve Him if there was no other way. He had taken humanity and was the representative of the race. Con 51.2