When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they broke God’s command and became sinners. The news spread through heaven, and every harp was hushed. Sorrow filled heaven as the angels all realised that the human race was lost and that the world God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness and death—and there was no way of escape for the offender! Adam and Eve’s whole family must die!
But then Jesus made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost humanity. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father and had offered to give His life as a ransom. He would take the sentence of death upon Himself, in order that through Him human beings might find pardon. Through the merits of His blood and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favour of God and be brought into the beautiful garden and eat from the fruit of the tree of life again.
Jesus opened before the angels the plan of salvation. He told them that He would stand between the wrath of His Father and guilty humanity, that He would bear iniquity and scorn—and this in spite of the fact that only a few would receive Him as the Son of God.
To the contrary, nearly everyone would hate Him and reject Him. He would leave all His glory in heaven, appear on earth as a Man, humble Himself as a Man, and by His own experience become acquainted with the various temptations that would affect humanity, in order that He might know how to help those who would be tempted.
Finally, after His mission as a Teacher had been accomplished, He would be delivered into evil hands and endure every cruelty and suffering that Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict. He would die the cruellest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner, and suffer dreadful hours of agony, which even angels could not look upon but would hide their faces from the sight. And He wouldn’t just suffer agony of body; He would suffer mental agony to which bodily suffering could not compare. The weight of the sins of the whole world would be on Him.
But Jesus also told the angels that He would die and rise again the third day, after which He would ascend to His Father to intercede for wayward, guilty human beings.
The one possible way of salvation
The angels bowed down before Jesus and offered their lives in place of His. But Jesus told them that the life of an angel could not pay the debt for human sin. His Father could accept His life alone as a ransom for human beings. Afterward, those whom He redeemed would be with Him, and by His death He would ransom many and destroy Satan, who had the power of death. God would allow His beloved Son to die for their transgressions because it was impossible for Him to alter or change His law to save lost, perishing sinners.
And His Father would give Him the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and He would possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners would be destroyed, nevermore to disturb heaven or the purified new earth.
"Jesus . . . told them that the life of an angel could not pay the debt for human sin."
Jesus also assigned the angels their work, which would be to ascend and descend with strengthening help from heavenly glory to minister to the Son of God and soothe Him in His sufferings. They were also to guard and keep the subjects of grace from evil angels and the darkness that Satan would constantly surround them with.
Satan rejoiced with his angels that, by causing the fall of human beings, he could pull down the Son of God from His exalted position. He told his angels that when Jesus took the nature of fallen humanity, he could overpower Him and prevent the success of the plan of salvation.
A view of the future
After revealing the plan of salvation to the angels, God also revealed future important parts of the plan to Adam, from his expulsion from Eden to the Flood, and onward to the first advent of Christ on the earth. He explained that Christ’s love for Adam and his posterity would lead Him to step down from heaven to take human nature so that through His own humiliation He could elevate all who would believe in Him.
Such a sacrifice was valuable enough to save the whole world. But only a few people from earth’s myriad humans would accept the salvation brought to them through this wonderful sacrifice. The majority would not comply with the conditions required of them to receive His great salvation. They would prefer sin and transgression of the law of God rather than repentance and obedience, relying by faith on the merits of the sacrifice offered. This sacrifice was of such infinite value as to make anyone who would accept it more precious than fine gold.