IN the banishment of Satan from Heaven, God declared His justice, and maintained the honour of His throne. But when man had sinned through yielding to the deceptions of this apostate spirit, God gave  evidence of His love by yielding up His only begotten son to die for the fallen race. In this atonement, the character of God is revealed. The mighty argument of the cross demonstrates to the whole universe that the course of sin which Lucifer had chosen was in no wise chargeable upon the government of God.
In the contest between Christ and Satan, during the saviour’s earthly ministry, the character of the great deceiver was unmasked. Nothing could so effectually have uprooted Satan from the affections of the heavenly angels and the whole loyal universe as did his cruel warfare upon the world’s Redeemer. The daring blasphemy of his demand that Christ should pay him homage, his presumptuous boldness in bearing Him to the mountain summit and the pinnacle of the temple, the malicious intent betrayed in urging him to cast Himself down from the dizzy height, the unsleeping malice that hunted Him from place to place, inspiring the hearts of priests and people to reject his love, and at the last to cry, “crucify Him! Crucify Him! – all this excited the amazement and indignation of the universe.
It was Satan that prompted the world’s rejection of Christ. The prince of evil exerted all his power and cunning to destroy Jesus; for he saw the saviour’s mercy and His compassion and pitying tenderness, were representing to the world the character of God. Satan contested every claim put forth by the son of God, and employed men as his agents to fill the saviour’s life with suffering and sorrow. The sophistry and falsehood by which he had sought to hinder the worth of Jesus, the hatred manifested through the children of disobedience, his cruel accusations against Him whose life was one of unexampled goodness, all sprang from deep-seated revenge. The pent-up fires of envy and malice, hatred and revenge, burst forth on Calvary against the son of God while all heaven gazed upon the scene in silent horror.
When the great sacrifice had been consummated, Christ ascended on high, refusing the adoration of angels until He had presented the request, “I will that they also, whom thou has given me be with me where I am”. (John 17:24) Then with inexpressible love and power came forth the answer from the father’s throne, “let all the angels of God worship him”. (Heb 1:6). Not a stain vested upon Jesus. His humiliation ended, His sacrifice completed, there was given unto Him a name that is above every name.
Now the guilt of Satan stood forth without excuse. He had revealed his true character as a liar and a murderer. It was seen that the very same spirit with which he ruled the children of men, who were under his power, he would have manifested had been claimed that the transgression of Gods law would bring liberty and exaltation; but it was seen to result in bondage and degradation.
Satan’s laying charges against the divine character and government appeared in their true light, he had accused God of seeking merely the exaltation of himself in requiring submission and obedience from His creatures, and had declared the whole the creator exacted self-denial, and made no sacrifice. Now it was seen that for the salvation of a fallen and sinful race, the ruler of the universe had made the greatest sacrifice which love could make; for “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” (2 Cor. 5:19) It was seen, also, that while Lucifer had opened the door for the entrance of sin, by his desire for honour and supremacy, Christ had, in order to destroy sin, humbled Himself and became obedient unto death.
God had manifested His abhorrence of the principles of rebellion. All heaven saw His justice revealed, both in the condemnation of Satan and in the redemption of man. Lucifer had declared that if the law of God was changeless, and its penalty could not be remitted, every transgressor must be forever debarred from the creator’s favour. He had claimed that the sinful race wes placed beyond redemption, and therefore was rightful prey. But the death of Christ was an argument in man’s behalf that could not be over thrown. The penalty of the law fell upon Him who was equal with God, and man was free to accept the righteousness of Christ, and by a life of penitence and humiliation to triumph, as the son of God had triumphed, over the power of Satan. Thus God is just, and yet the justifier of all who believe in Jesus.
But it was not merely to accomplish the redemption of man that Christ came to the earth to suffer and to die. He came to “magnify the law” and to “make it honourable.” Not alone that the inhabitants of this world might regard the law as it should be regarded, but it was to demonstrate to all the worlds of the universe that God’s law is unchangeable. The death of Christ  proves it immutable. And the sacrifice to which infinite love impelled the father and the universe – what nothing less than justice and mercy are the foundation of the law and government of God.
In the final execution of the judgement it will be seen that no cause for sin exists. When the judge of all the earth shall demand of Satan, “Why hast thou rebelled against me, and robbed me of the subjects of my Kingdom?” the originator of evil can render no excuse. Every mouth will be stopped, and all the hosts of rebellion will be speechless.
The cross of Calvary, while it declares the law immutable, proclaims to the universe that the wages of sin is death. In the saviour’s expiring cry, “It is finished,” the death-knell of Satan was rung. The great controversy which had been so long in progress was then decided, and the final eradication of evil was made certain.
The son of God passed through the portals of the tomb, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb. 2:14) Lucifer’s desire for self-exaltation had led him to say, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will be like the most high. “God declares, “I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth,… and never shall thou be any more”. (Isa 14:13, 14; Eze 28:18, 19) when “the day cometh thout shall burn as an oven,” “all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts. That it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” (Mat. 4:1).
The whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of sin. And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have brought fear to angels and dishonour to God, will now vindicate His love and establish His honour before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is his law. Never will evil again be manifest. Says the word of God, “Affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9) the law of God, which Satan reproached as the yoke of bondage, will be honoured as the law of liberty. A tested and proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance to him whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love and infinite wisdom.

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