The Plan Of Redemption Is Unveiled

6 min


 

The fall of man filled all heaven with sorrow. There appeared no escape for those who had transgressed the law. Angels ceased their songs of praise. From Eternity Past 31.1

The Son of God was touched with pity for the fallen race as the woes of the lost world rose up before Him.Divine love had conceived a plan whereby man might be redeemed.The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. Only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin to rescue the ruined race. EP 31.2

The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth, for Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8); yet it was a struggle with the King of the universe to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”John 3:16. O, the mystery of redemption! the love of God for a world that did not love Him! EP 31.3

God was to be manifest in Christ, “reconciling the world unto Himself.”2 Corinthians 5:19. Man had become so degraded by sin that it was impossible in himself to come into harmony with Him whose nature is purity and goodness. But Christ could impart divine power to unite with human effort. Thus by repentance toward God and faith in Christ, the fallen children of Adam might once more become “sons of God.” 1 John 3:2. EP 31.4

The angels could not rejoice as Christ opened before them the plan of redemption. In grief and wonder they listened as He told them how He must come in contact with the degradation of earth, to endure sorrow, shame, and death. He would humble Himself as a man and become acquainted with the sorrows and temptations which man would have to endure in order that He might be able to succor them that should be tempted. Hebrews 2:18.When His mission as a teacher should be ended, He must be subjected to every insult and torture that Satan could inspire. He must die the cruelest of deaths as a guilty sinner. He must endure anguish of soul, the hiding of His Father’s face, while the sins of the whole world should be upon Him. EP 32.1

The angels offered to become a sacrifice for man. But only He who created man had power to redeem him. Christ was to be made “a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” Hebrews 2:9. As He should take human nature upon Him, His strength would not be equal to theirs, and they were to strengthen Him under His sufferings. They were also to guard the subjects of grace from the power of evil angels. EP 32.2

When the angels should witness the agony and humiliation of their Lord, they would wish to deliver Him from His murderers, but they were not to interpose. It was a part of the plan that Christ should suffer the scorn and abuse of wicked men. EP 32.3

Christ assured the angels that by His death He would ransom many and recover the kingdom which man had lost by transgression. The redeemed were to inherit it with Him. Sin and sinners would be blotted out, nevermore to disturb the peace of heaven or earth. EP 32.4

Then inexpressible joy filled heaven. Through the celestial courts echoed the first strains of that song which was to ring out above the hills of Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14. “The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7. EP 32.5

God Promises a Saviour

In the sentence pronounced on Satan in the garden, the Lord declared, “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.” Genesis 3:15. This was a promise that the power of the great adversary would finally be broken.Adam and Eve stood as criminals before the righteous Judge, but before they heard of the toil and sorrow which must be their portion or that they must return to dust, they listened to words that could not fail to give them hope. They could look forward to final victory. EP 33.1

Satan knew that his work of depraving human nature would be interrupted, that by some means man would be enabled to resist his power. Yet Satan rejoiced with his angels that, having caused man’s fall, he could bring down the Son of God from His exalted position. When Christ should take upon Himself human nature, He also might be overcome. EP 33.2

Heavenly angels more fully opened to our first parents the plan for their salvation. Adam and his companion were not to be abandoned to Satan.Through repentance and faith in Christ they might again become the children of God. EP 33.3

Adam and Eve saw as never before the guilt of sin and its results. They pleaded that the penalty might not fall upon Him whose love had been the source of all their joy; rather let it descend upon them and their posterity. EP 33.4

They were told that since the law of Jehovah is the foundation of His government, even the life of an angel could not be accepted as a sacrifice for transgression. But the Son of God, who had created man, could make an atonement for him. As Adam’s transgression had brought wretchedness and death, so the sacrifice of Christ would bring life and immortality. EP 33.5

At his creation Adam was placed in dominion over the earth. But by yielding to temptation he became Satan’s captive. The dominion passed to his conqueror. Thus Satan became “the god of this world.” 2 Corinthians 4:4. But Christ by His sacrifice would not only redeem man, but recover the dominion he had forfeited. All that was lost by the first Adam will be restored by the second. See Micah 4:8. EP 34.1

God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. That purpose will be fulfilled when, renewed by the power of God and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal abode of the redeemed. EP 34.2

The Terrible Fruits of Sin

Sin brought separation between God and man, and the atonement of Christ alone could span the abyss.God would communicate with man through Christ and angels. EP 34.3

Adam was shown that while the sacrifice of Christ would be sufficient to save the whole world, many would choose a life of sin rather than of repentance and obedience. Crime would increase through successive generations. The curse of sin would rest more and more heavily upon the human race and upon the earth. The days of man would be shortened by his own course of sin; he would deteriorate in physical, moral, and intellectual power until the world would be filled with misery. Through the indulgence of appetite and passion, men would become incapable of appreciating the great truths of the plan of redemption. Yet Christ would supply the needs of all who would come unto Him in faith.There would ever be a few who would preserve the knowledge of God and remain unsullied. EP 34.4

The sacrificial offerings were ordained to be a penitential acknowledgment of sin and a confession of faith in the promised Redeemer. To Adam the first sacrifice was painful. His hand must be raised to take life, which only God could give. It was the first time he had witnessed death. He knew that had he been obedient to God there would have been no death. He trembled at the thought that his sin must shed the blood of the spotless Lamb of God.This gave him a vivid sense of the greatness of his transgression, which nothing but the death of God’s dear Son could expiate. A star of hope illumined the dark future. EP 34.5

The Wider Purpose of Redemption

But the plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man. It was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded, but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. To this the Saviour looked forward when just before His crucifixion He said: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.”John 12:31, 32. Christ dying for the salvation of man would justify God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan, establish the law of God, and reveal the nature and results of sin. EP 35.1

From the first, the great controversy had been upon the law of God. Satan had sought to prove that God was unjust, His law faulty and that the good of the universe required it to be changed. In attacking the law he aimed to overthrow the authority of its Author. EP 35.2

When Satan overcame Adam and Eve, he thought he had gained possession of this world, “because,” said he, “they have chosen me as their ruler.” He claimed it was impossible that forgiveness be granted; the fallen race were his rightful subjects, and the world was his. But God gave His own Son to bear the penalty of transgression.Thus they might be restored to His favor and brought back to their Eden home. The great controversy begun in heaven was to be decided in the very world, on the same field, that Satan claimed as his. EP 35.3

It was the marvel of all the universe that Christ should humble Himself to save fallen man. When Christ came to our world in the form of humanity, all were intensely interested in following Him as He traversed the blood-stained path from the manger to Calvary. Heaven marked the insult and mockery that He received and knew that it was at Satan’s instigation. They watched the battle between light and darkness as it waxed stronger. And as Christ upon the cross cried out, “It is finished!” a shout of triumph rang through every world and through heaven itself. The great contest was now decided, and Christ was conqueror. His death answered the question whether the Father and the Son had sufficient love for man to exercise self-denial and a spirit of sacrifice. Satan had revealed his true character as a liar and murderer.With one voice the loyal universe united in extolling the divine administration. EP 36.1

But if the law was abolished at the cross, as many claim, then the agony and death of God’s dear Son were endured only to give to Satan just what he asked; then the prince of evil triumphed, and his charges against the divine government were sustained. The fact that Christ bore the penalty of man’s transgression is a mighty argument that the law is changeless; that God is righteous, merciful, and self-denying; and that infinite justice and mercy unite in the administration of His government. EP 36.2

 


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