Greatest battle in history

Tomorrow we again celebrate the single most important event in the history of the world – the battle waged around the Son of God, Son of Man.  The usurper, Satan, intended to kill the Son of God, Son of Man.  Satan thought he had bagged it when Jesus was crucified.  Why was it so important to him to get rid of God’s Son?  

Scripture testifies to how it happened that Satan became ruler of this world,    

1. Earth was given by God to man,

‘The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to man.’   Psalm 115:16   

2.  God wants man to look after the earth,

‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.’  Genesis 2:15 

3.  God gave man authority to rule over creation.  Satan rebelled against God.      He coveted Adam’s rulership and by deceit he got it,  

‘We know that we are children of God and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.’  1 John 5:19

God foreknew it would happen.  Already, at the time that Satan took over the rulership from Adam, God promised that there will be a Seed of the woman who will crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15).  Satan was wary all the time to make sure that Seed did not destroy his reign of destruction, hatred, bloodshed, violence, et cetera.  He recognized that Jesus was the promised Seed of the woman.  It became Satan’s obsession to kill Him.   

The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John testify about the Son of God who became Son of Man.  Jesus taught and preached and revealed the Kingdom.  Satan had to get rid of Him.  His time came.  After Jesus endured excruciating pain he was crucified.  Jesus was declared dead and buried.  The grave was sealed.  Guards were placed outside to make sure nothing happened to the body.  

Jesus was resurrected and emerged as the eternal Victor.  Satan’s efforts to get rid of Jesus failed and Satan’s loss is permanent.  That is what we once again celebrate this Easter – our Savior’s eternal victory because of His immeasurable love. 

The Victor and the vanquished

This time of the year (Easter) we commemorate the greatest turning point in history that Jesus affected through His victory on the Cross.  After His crucifixion, the Jews feared that His words that He would be resurrected, might come true.  So extra precautions were taken, 

”Take a guard,’ Pilate answered, ‘and make the tomb as secure as you know how.’  So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.'” Matthew 27:65-66

It was not worth much, 

‘On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.’  Luke 24:1-3

What Jesus predicted had happened, 

”As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said.  ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.  See the place where they laid Him.”‘ Mark 16:5-6

Compare that to Jesus’ enemy, Satan, and what will happen to him, 

‘And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.  He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.  He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended.’  Revelation 20:1-3

Will Satan get out of the Abyss before the thousand years?  No, 

‘When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison…’  Revelation 20:7

(Satan will then go out and gather a very great army against Jesus and Jerusalem, but Jesus will destroy them with the breath of His mouth and Satan will be thrown into the lake of burning sulphur to be tortured for ever.)

With Jesus the seal did not work.  With Satan the seal will work.  He will be at the mercy of God to open the Abyss.  

That is the difference between the eternal Victor (Jesus) and the eternally vanquished (Satan.)

This time of the year!

It is again this time of the year.  You know, chocolate eggs and bunnies are all very in vogue.  Why the bunnies and eggs?  The ruler of this world, the devil, does not want to be reminded of the irrevocable loss he suffered in his effort to get rid of Jesus.  So he tries to deflect it and scrap/erase the name of the Victor with another narrative – chocolate bunnies and eggs. 

Please don’t ignore the reason for this time of the year: the King on the Cross.   The King who died, was buried, resurrected, went back to heaven and sits at His Father’s right hand.  It is amazing that sections of the Church joins the confusion: was Jesus crucified and resurrected and did He ascend to His Father?  Some believe and some doubt.  

Who loves doubts about Jesus’ mission?  It is His enemy, Satan.  However, the facts are,  

  • If Jesus and the Cross is not real, then the Resurrection is not real.  
  • If the Resurrection is not real, the Gospel would not have spread all over the world. 
  • If the Gospel did not spread, we would not have it.  
  • But we do have it.  That means: 

The Resurrection is real because the Cross was real, because Jesus is real.  

Some notes: 

Jesus said to His disciples how the Gospel will spread, 

‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’  Acts 1:8

The Gospel did not spread by the sword or by laws.  It spread because people  recognized the miracle of a resurrected Jesus, 

‘After His [Jesus] suffering, He showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive.’  Acts 1:3

And He will come back as the disciples saw Him go,

”They were looking intently up into the sky as He [Jesus] was going [back to His Father], when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”‘  Acts 1:11

What do the bunnies and eggs prove?  Jesus is alive and well.  And those who have faith in Him will never be disappointed.

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