Christ Triumphant


Christ's Mission Fulfilled Only Through Suffering, July 6

If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Matthew 4:6. CTr 194.1

The second temptation was on the point of presumption.... Satan now supposes that he has met Jesus on His own ground. The wily foe himself presents words that proceeded from the mouth of God. He makes it evident that he is acquainted with the Scriptures. But when he quoted the promise “He shall give his angels charge over thee,” he omitted the words “to keep thee in all thy ways,” that is, in all the ways of God's choosing. Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience. He would not force Providence to come to His rescue, and thus fail of giving us an example of trust and submission. Never did He work a miracle in His own behalf. His wonderful works were all for the good of others. Jesus declared to Satan, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience, but to depart from it is to venture on Satan's ground. There we are sure to fall.... CTr 194.2

Jesus was victor in the second temptation, and now Satan manifests himself in his true character, claiming to be the god of this world. Placing Jesus upon a high mountain, Satan caused the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, to pass in panoramic view before Him. The eyes of Jesus, so lately greeted by gloom and desolation, now gazed upon a scene of unsurpassed loveliness and prosperity. Then the tempter's voice was heard, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” CTr 194.3

Christ's mission could be fulfilled only through suffering. Before Him was a life of sorrow, hardship, and conflict, and an ignominious death. But now Christ might deliver Himself from the dreadful future by acknowledging the supremacy of Satan. But to do this was to yield the victory in the great controversy. Christ declared to the tempter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Christ's divinity flashed through suffering humanity. Satan had no power to resist the command to depart. Humiliated and enraged, he was forced to withdraw from the presence of the world's Redeemer.—Manuscript 155, 1902 (Sermons and Talks, 2:218, 219). CTr 194.4