The story of the Passion of Christ wouldn’t be complete without the antagonist – that ever present cad who was on the scene at the beginning of the creation of the world – the one who attempted to take away God’s glory by thinking he was greater – the one who was defeated at Calvary when God’s Son died and sentenced to roam the world in agony for the remainder of its existence.
He was there in the Garden of Eden, slithering into human minds with deception and promises. He was there throughout Israel’s history, rearing his ugly head and hardening hearts against the One True God. He was there as kings ruled, countries fell and change occurred. He has been man’s nemesis since the beginning of time.
When Jesus spent 40 days in the desert fasting, the devil was there. It was necessary for Jesus to face the slings and full quiver of arrows Satan was preparing to throw His way. Jesus was weakened by hunger and thirst. His body ached from lack of sleep and nourishment. His humanity had lowered Him to His weakest point. It was just the right moment for Satan to strike.
He approached the God/Man with words from the Bible. He still does this today when he twists the words to his own advantage. He was so bold to think that he could possibly tempt the Son of God, but that’s the way he operates. He comes to us in our weakest hours, when we’re anxious, depressed, lonely, in pain or nearing death. He pulls out all the stops, because he wants us to suffer along with him in the depths of hell. Misery likes company, they say.
In those moments, Jesus didn’t lose His resolve. He came right back at the devil with words from the same source, setting another example for us. We have access to God’s weaponry in that Bible. It is sure to kick the devil right where he needs to be kicked.
He was there as Jesus ministered to the sick, healed the lost and forsaken, forgave the sins of the world. He was there when Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. He was in the courtyard when Peter denied knowing his Savior. He was there during the unfair trial, when spikes were driven into Jesus hands and blood flowed from His innocent body. He was in his glory during those times, thinking he had finally defeated God.
He was in his hellish realm when Jesus came to claim victory over death. When He rose from death and revealed Himself to His followers, Satan was no where to be found.
The devil continues to walk the earth, seeking those he would devour, but God’s ransom for our souls has been paid and we can confidently say that Satan no longer holds claim to us. We still should be on guard. He has been allowed this time, before the final judgment, to lead us away from God. We won’t see him as the man in the red suit with a pitchfork and horns. He will come to us as one of us – manipulating our thinking, testing our intellect, endeavoring to make us think we can outsmart God. The day is coming when he will not be there. Satan has been defeated. The work was done for us, because of the love of God. In the end, we win because Jesus won salvation for us