Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 350

How Christ’s Death Defeated Satan

Christ had accomplished the work He came to do, and with His dying breath He exclaimed, “It is finished!” John 19:30. He had won the battle. All heaven triumphed in the Savior’s victory. Satan knew his kingdom was lost. It was for the angels and unfallen worlds as well as for us that Jesus had accomplished the great work of redemption. Until the death of Christ, Satan had so thoroughly wrapped himself in deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles nor clearly seen the nature of his rebellion.

Lucifer had been the covering cherub, the highest of all created beings. He had been foremost in revealing God’s plans to the universe. After he had sinned, his power to deceive was all the more deceptive, and unmasking his character was more difficult because of the exalted position he had held with the Father.

God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers, but He did not do this. Force, compelling power, is found only under Satan’s government. The Lord’s authority rests on goodness, mercy, and love, and He works by presenting these principles. God’s government is moral, and truth and love are to be the power used in it.

In the councils of heaven, God decided that Satan must be given time to develop the principles of his government. He had claimed that these were superior to God’s. So God gave time for Satan’s principles to work and for the heavenly universe to see them. For four thousand years, Christ was working to lift up the human race, and Satan to ruin it. And the heavenly universe watched it all.

From the time when Jesus appeared as a baby in Bethlehem, Satan worked to destroy Him. He tried to prevent Him from developing a perfect childhood, a faultless manhood, a holy ministry, and an unblemished sacrifice. But he was defeated. He could not lead Jesus into sin. All the efforts of Satan to overcome Him only brought out His spotless character in a purer light.

With intense interest heaven and the unfallen worlds followed the closing scenes of the conflict. They heard His bitter cry, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Matthew 26:39. They saw Him so greatly sorrowful that it exceeded what people experience in the last great struggle with death. The bloody sweat was forced from His pores, and three times the prayer for deliverance was wrung

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