Relevant Passages: Isaiah 14; Ezekial 28; John 1; Revelations 12
Christ and Satan: Two lives that depict the two great opposing forces contending for control of the universe, love and selfishness.
- On p. 57 of Ellen White’s devotional commentary on the life of Christ, Desire of Ages, a striking statement appears: “At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation.” Aside from the story of the cross, where else in Scripture would you go to document the “love” of Christ and the “selfishness” of the Evil One? Are there particular narratives which highlight this goodness and this evil? One thinks perhaps of Isaiah 53 in the Old Testament and the Gospels in the New. What about the classic passages which are seen by Christians as giving the history of Satan/Lucifer: Genesis 3, Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-19, Revelation 12:7-12?
- What stories would you use in Scripture to teach young children about these two great beings?
- The key biblical passages which tell the story of Lucifer describe a forced “fall” from high position (Isa. 14, Ezek. 28, Rev. 12), whereas the key passages which tell the story of Christ describe a voluntary descent from high position: Isa. 53 and Philippians 2:5-11. To what extent could we say that the two principles, “aggressive ascent” and “willing descent,” represent the essential struggle between good and evil in our world today? To what extent is the modern attempt to get ahead of our fellows a reflection of the great cosmic battle?
- Pressing that idea further, could we ask the extent to which we should expect to see the battle played out in subtle ways as over against violent ways? To put it very bluntly, are white collar crimes as demonic as violent ones?
- Great Christian writers outside of the Bible have picked up the theme of the great conflict and have presented it strikingly in written form: Milton in Paradise Lost and C. S. Lewis in his Narnia tales, his space trilogy, and in his Screwtape Letters. Do you find these effective means of directing our attention to the good and away from the evil?
- To what extent should Christians simply focus on the good and ignore the evil and the evil one?
- What are the great universal dilemmas which the “cosmic conflict” model seeks to address? To what extent is the personal character of the two protagonists essential to the story?