Christ’s Mission Fulfilled 

Only Through Suffering

     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.   

     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. . . .   

    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.”   

     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.

The Redeemer Comforted After Enduring The Test

     Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4:11.   

     After the foe had departed, Jesus fell exhausted to the earth. He had endured the test, but He now was fainting on the field of battle. What hand was there to be put beneath His head? How was He to be given care and nourishment so that He might regain His strength? Was He to be left to perish after gaining the victory? Oh, no; the angels of heaven had watched the conflict with intense interest, and they now came and ministered to the Son of God as He lay like one dying. He was strengthened with food, comforted with the message of His Father’s love and the assurance that all heaven triumphed in His victory. He returned from the wilderness to proclaim with power His message of mercy and salvation.   

     What if Satan had gained the victory? What hope would we have had? Christ came to reveal to worlds unfallen, to angels, and to the human race that in God’s law there is no restriction that we cannot obey. He came to represent God in humanity. He met every requirement that we are asked to meet.

     In their conflicts with Satan, the human family has all the help that Christ had. They need not be overcome. They may be more than conquerors through Him who has loved them and given His life for them. . . . The Son of God in His humanity wrestled with the very same fierce, apparently overwhelming, temptations that assail us—temptations to indulgence of appetite, to presumptuous venturing where God has not led them, and to the worship of the god of this world, to sacrifice an eternity of bliss for the fascinating pleasures of this life. Everyone will be tempted, but the Word declares that we shall not be tempted above our ability to bear. We may resist and defeat the wily foe.   

     Every soul has a heaven to win and a hell to shun. And the angelic agencies are all ready to come to the help of the tried and tempted soul. He, the Son of the infinite God, endured the test and trial in our behalf. The cross of Calvary stands vividly before every soul. When the cases of all are judged, and they are delivered to suffer for their contempt for God and their disregard of His honor in their disobedience, not one will have an excuse, not one will need to have perished. It was left to their own choice who should be their prince, Christ or Satan. All the help Christ received, every person may receive in the great trial.

CTr 194-195

    “The eye of Jesus for a moment rested upon the glory presented before Him; but He turned away and refused to look upon the entrancing spectacle. He would not endanger His steadfast integrity by dallying with the tempter. When Satan solicited homage Christ's divine indignation was aroused, and He could no longer tolerate his blasphemous assumption or even permit him to remain in His presence. Here Christ exercised His divine authority and commanded Satan to desist. "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." 

Con 52