The Bible Echo

51/134

August 6, 1894

Christ Victorious Through Pain and Death

EGW

Charged with an embassage of mercy, Christ came to the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He saw that rebellion had overspread His provinces, and that despite was done to God in every section and by every tenant of the earth. Man was in rebellion against God; but “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whos[o]ever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 1

When sin first entered the world, God had promised a deliverer. He had said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” When Jesus came to the world, His own nation despised Him, His friends denied Him, His brethren did not believe on Him. The unbelief with which He was met was indeed a bruising of His heel. Christ, the world's Redeemer, was buffeted with temptation; but it had been written of Him, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth.” Through the very bruising of His heel by Satan, because of affliction, temptation, and sorrow, Christ was gaining the victory in behalf of the human family; for He triumphed over His enemy in not yielding to his temptation, and thus bruised the head of the serpent. He endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself, and every pang of anguish He suffered, every temptation He resisted, as man's substitute and surety, was elevating the human family in the scale of moral worth. The character of Satan, through his efforts to overcome and destroy the Son of God, was developing before the universe, and was made manifest in its true malignity before the unfallen worlds that had been created by Christ. Every time he stung the heel of Christ with his murderous fang, the serpent was making more sure his own discomfiture and ruin. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 2

Could Satan have caused the Son of the infinite God to become in the least degree a partaker of his own hellish attributes, then Satan would have wounded the head of Christ, and in hellish exultation he would have triumphed over Him, and the world would have remained his dominion, the human family his slaves. The synagogue of Satan would have been victorious, and man would have perished, without God and without hope. Satan could cause pain to the Son of God; but he could not force Him to transgress the law of God. He could cause Him to suffer, but he could not defile Him. He did make the Saviour's life one of sorrow and affliction; but Jesus patiently endured grief; for He knew that through His conflict with the powers of darkness, the chains of Satan could be broken from the human family. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 3

Jesus became the world's Redeemer, rendering perfect obedience to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. He redeemed Adam's disgraceful fall, uniting the earth, that had been divorced from God by sin, to the continent of heaven. It was in the very sight of heaven that Satan led on the Jewish priests and rulers, and made them his agents to stir up the passions of the murderous mob against the Prince of life. It was in the hearing of heaven that the hoarse cry was raised against the Majesty of heaven, “Crucify Him; crucify Him.” It was in the sight of heaven that they scourged Him, that they plaited the crown of thorns, that they mocked and derided Him. But in these very scenes it was made manifest to angels and principalities what is the power of Satan over the human mind. It was made plain that under the dominion of the deceiver, men became liars and murderers. The railings of the multitude reached the ears of God and holy angels. The hoarse cries, that sounded like the bellowing of wild beasts, made their record for time and eternity. Those who instigated the suffering that Jesus endured as a malefactor will yet behold Him in all His glory. They will see that He whom they derided and rejected and crucified, that He whom they set aside for a robber and murderer, is none other than the King of kings and Lord of lords. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 4

In the scenes that transpired at the judgment hall and at Calvary, we see what the human heart is capable of when under the influence of Satan. Christ submitted to crucifixion, although the heavenly host could have delivered Him. The angels suffered with Christ. God Himself was crucified with Christ; for Christ was one with the Father. Those who reject Christ, those who will not have this man to rule over them, choose to place themselves under the rule of Satan, to do his work as his bond slaves. Yet for them Christ yielded up His life on Calvary. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 5

In the death of Christ on Calvary's cross, the temple seemed to be destroyed, the head seemed to have been bruised; but this was not so. Satan, in the very act of grasping his prey, demolished his own throne. Satan, evil angels, and evil men united in a desperate companionship, and thought to claim the victory; but it was in the death of Christ, in the cruel suffering and crucifixion, that the Son of God accomplished the very work for which He was ordained from before the foundation of the world. He died a victim to jealousy and hate, a victim to false religious zeal. But in His dying agony He was victor over the powers of earth and hell. He re-instated man in the position from which Satan had hurled him through temptation and sin, and, by His own perfect obedience to the law of God, placed him on vantage ground. In His death He broke the spell that had held millions in slavery, under perfect subjection to Satan's rule and jurisdiction. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 6

A stronger than the strong man armed had come. Help had been laid upon One who was mighty to save, who could measure weapons with the apostate. Satan was next in power to Christ; he was highly exalted, the covering cherub, and none but Christ could engage in battle with him, enduring successfully the temptations with which he had beset the human family. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 7

Satan had come to Christ in the wilderness, representing Himself as an angel of light; but though he attacked Christ in the moment of His greatest weakness, he was vanquished by the Prince of life. Thus, as man’s substitute and surety, did He make it possible for every son and daughter of Adam to be an overcomer, to return to allegiance to God, and render perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah. All this man is required to do, notwithstanding his weakness, his degradation and sinfulness; for moral power has been provided for him in Christ, and through faith in Him man is made complete. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 8

Jesus measured weapons with the prince of darkness in the garden of Gethsemane, where the agony was so great that He sweat as it were great drops of blood. It forced from His pale and quivering lips a cry of agonising prayer, when He besought the Father, saying, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Three times He raised this prayer to God, but at last added the submissive words, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 9

On the cross He received the wounds that will mark His form through the ceaseless ages of eternity; but those very wounds will be His glory, the insignia of His triumph over him who bruised His heel; for He shall bruise the serpent's head. On the cross He cried, “It is finished,” and bowed His head and died. He descended into the grave; but after three days a mighty angel, clothed with the panoply of heaven, parted the darkness from His track, and caused the Roman guard to fall as dead men at His feet. The angel rolled back the stone from the sepulchre, and the Roman seal was broken, and Christ came forth from the prison of death, and, over the rent sepulchre of Joseph, proclaimed Himself “the resurrection and the life.” Through Him it was announced that the sons and daughters of Adam might be emancipated from their bondage to Satan, to sin and transgression; for as man's substitute and surety, Jesus had won the victory. The world and its inhabitants were His inheritance, purchased at infinite cost, and every soul who believed in His name might be an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. When Christ rose from the dead, the victory was proclaimed in triumph by the loftiest order of heavenly intelligence, and joy, inexpressible joy, filled the courts of God. BEcho August 6, 1894, par. 10