Jesus Died To Defeat Satan

“Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil…” Hebrews 2:14 GNT

Jesus died to defeat Satan.Since he first fell from love, Satan has continually accused God of being a vengeful, severe, and arbitrary tyrant. He claims that his all-for-me, survival-of-the-fittest, reward-and-punishment kingdom is actually God’s. Men have largely bought into Satan’s lie and fear of God has been the result.

The Weakness of Evil

However, in defending himself, Satan stepped into a divine trap that really was no trap at all. God has consistently operated without trick, secrecy, or violence. Satan did what God knew he would do because the devil cannot fathom divine love (neither could anyone else before the death of Christ). Satan was amazed that God would choose to die. Such a thing never entered his most far-fetched dreams.

For him, strength is all that matters. His pride forbids weakness. He can only visualize power meeting power and fist meeting fist. Such is the history of the kingdoms of this world. Yet God’s kingdom doesn’t work like that, as it is based on the disarmament of power through weakness. “When I am weak, I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). It is no wonder Satan is blindsided by the idea that anyone would think differently, that anyone would not use the far superior option of iniquity if it was available to them.

“The weakness of evil is that it cannot conquer weakness. No matter how much power evil has, it is always defeated by the free, loving renunciation of power. Evil is limited to power; it cannot use weakness. It is limited to pride; it cannot use humility. It is limited to inflicting suffering and death; it cannot use suffering and death. It is limited to selfishness; it cannot use selflessness. But good can.” – Peter Kreeft, The Philosophy of Tolkien

Satan Cannot Fathom Those Who Follow Jesus Either

And it’s not just Jesus. Satan has the same breakdown of understanding when men seek to follow Jesus by surrendering their lives. He can never comprehend why anyone would desire to die to themselves, to their ego. To him it is weakness and repulsive beyond action. The renunciation of power and the denial of the impulses of the fallen nature go beyond his evil mind.

“Evil…has every advantage but one—it is inferior in imagination. Good can imagine the possibility of becoming evil—hence the refusal of Gandalf and Aragorn to use the Ring—but Evil, defiantly chosen, can no longer imagine anything but itself. Sauron cannot imagine any motives except lust for domination and fear so that, when he has learned that his enemies have the Ring, the thought that they might try to destroy it never enters his head, and his eye is kept toward Gondor and away from Mordor and the Mount of Doom.

– W. H. Auden, New York Times Review 1954

Here is strength of men, and here is the secret of their victory: all those who choose grace fly under his radar. Grace and goodness stump him. God’s wisdom is foolishness to him and to all who embrace evil (1 Corinthians 1:27, 2:14). Satan’s astonishment follows every saint who, by grace, follows their Master’s blood-stained footsteps to Calvary.

Proved A Liar

Consequently, he overreached himself and irretrievably proved himself a liar before the entire universe. In killing Jesus, he lost his case, revealing that judgment, condemnation, punishment, blood-sacrifice, and death are not and never have been part of God’s kingdom. Who could believe Satan’s lies after watching Jesus die?

“Yet I do proclaim a message of wisdom to those who are spiritually mature. But it is not the wisdom that belongs to this world or to the powers that rule this world—powers that are losing their power. The wisdom I proclaim is God’s secret wisdom, which is hidden from human beings, but which he had already chosen for our glory even before the world was made. None of the rulers of this world knew this wisdom. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:6-8

Satan Unmasked

For all of Satan’s cunning and sophistry, he did not understand that Jesus’ death would be his undoing—until it was too late. God unmasked the great deceiver at Calvary. His unbridled lust for conquest and power, even the dominion of God’s throne, was fully revealed. In the light of the death of Christ, Satan will, at last, become an object of universal abhorrence. At that point, God will leave him to the intrinsic consequences of His descriptive laws and the devil himself will succumb at last of the infection incubated so long ago in his primeval heart, the very infection with which he imperiled the entire universe.

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