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From Eternity Past

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    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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