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Humble Hero

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    Earth the Stage, Heaven the Audience

    Heaven witnessed the Victim betrayed and hurried with violence from one tribunal to another. It heard the sneers of His persecutors and the denial, with cursing, by one of His disciples. It saw the Savior dragged back and forth from palace to judgment hall, arraigned twice before the priests, twice before the Sanhedrin, twice before Pilate, and once before Herod, mocked, scourged, condemned, and led out to be crucified.HH 351.1

    Heaven viewed with amazement Christ hanging on the cross, blood flowing from His wounded temples, His hands, His feet. The wounds gaped as the weight of His body dragged on His hands. He panted under the burden of the sins of the world. All heaven was filled with wonder when Christ prayed in the midst of His terrible suffering, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34.HH 351.2

    The powers of darkness around the cross cast the hellish shadow of unbelief into the hearts of the people gathered there. Satanic agencies led the people to believe that Christ was the chief of sinners and to make them detest Him. Those who mocked Christ were filled with the spirit of the first great rebel. He inspired their taunts. But Satan gained nothing from all this.HH 351.3

    If Christ had yielded to Satan in one particular to escape the terrible torture, the enemy would have triumphed. Christ bowed His head and died, but He held tightly to His faith. “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’” Revelation 12:10.HH 351.4

    Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. From then on he could no longer wait for the angels as they came from the heavenly courts and in their hearing accuse Christ’s followers of being clothed with the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.HH 351.5

    Yet the angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be revealed more fully. Human beings as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. Each one must choose whom to serve.HH 351.6

    In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that no one could obey the law of God, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, if the law were once broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. If God were to cancel the punishment for sin, Satan claimed, He would not be a God of justice. When our first parents broke the law of God, Satan declared that this proved that the law could not be obeyed; mankind could not be forgiven. Because he had been banished from heaven after his rebellion, Satan claimed that the human race must be shut out forever from God’s favor. God could not be just, he argued, and yet show mercy to the sinner.HH 351.7

    But mankind was in a different situation from that of Satan. Lucifer had sinned in the full light of God’s glory. Understanding the character of God, Satan still chose to follow his own selfish will. There was no more that God could do to save him. But human beings were deceived, their minds darkened by Satan’s subtle reasoning. They did not know the height and depth of the love of God. By beholding His character, they could be drawn back to God.HH 352.1

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