DAY 65 - BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE FALL & THE FLOOD
Colossians 2:14-15 (CSB)
"He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him."
Colossians 2: 15
Reading: Colossians 2: 14, 15; Revelation 12: 9
Yesterday, we promised that today we would unpack more about the identity and power of the serpent of Genesis 3. Our Readings for today firstly show us that Satan and the serpent of Genesis 3 are one and same creature - they also present 3 questions that we need to answer in order to understand the serpent better.
What does it mean that, at the cross, Jesus “disarmed” Satan and his rebel angels (Colossians 2: 15)? The answer is found in the verse before, in Colossians 2: 14: Satan no longer had a record of debt with which to accuse. Jesus snatched Satan’s means of accusation away. This is the primary way he was disarmed. The repentant sinner’s record is erased and this frustrates Satan. It seems Satan’s strategy was to accuse and damn by means of a guilty record, but through the substitutionary and atoning blood sacrifice of Jesus, there is now no record with which to charge. This is why it is so important to firmly lay the foundational doctrine of Christ, the Cornerstone, in each believer's life.
How did Jesus put Satan and his rebels “to open shame” (ESV)? The language used describes a parade. Jesus ‘made a spectacle’ of Satan by defeating him on the cross and at the tomb. Satan was rendered powerless, and then becomes something of a cosmic joke.
Third, how does God “triumph over them in [Jesus]”? Notice the “them” implies plurality. Satan is not acting in isolation but seems to have an organized, mobilized, rebel army, perhaps even a hierarchy. But more centrally, the thrust of Colossians 2:14-15 is that when Jesus looked to be at His weakest, He was actually putting on immortality. Three days after his death, Jesus rose from the dead with an indestructible life.
We see that on the cross, Jesus fulfilled the promise of Genesis 2 - he crushed the serpent's head and was badly bruised in doing so.
Satan is a sentient being just as any other created creature (Gen 1-2, Col 1:16-17). What distinguishes Satan is that he is the most intelligent and calculating creature in all creation and, at some point in time, he took on an oppositional status against the Lord and His people. This opposition took place before the fall of man in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve were dropped into an already mature plotline. In fact, Adam and Eve were given authority by God to exercise dominion over Satan.
It's important to know that Satan is not like God in that he is not omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, nor eternal. He exercises his spiritual dominion through a geographical and military hierarchy. However, Satan can manipulate matter, weather systems and sickness. He is able to influence governments and legal proceedings. He hates Christians, especially church leaders, and aggressively seeks to trap them and obliterate their reputations and ministries. He is a skillful liar and deceiver. However he is resistable and will be thrown into hell in the end.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about Satan today is that he is totally under the authority of Jesus and Jesus has even given us authority over him. The Lord often enjoys using Satan's ploys against you to strengthen you and increase your holiness. Win-win for God's people and lose-lose for the powers of darkness.
How can you overcome Satan? Do not love your life but be willing to give it up for Jesus. Give him no means of accusation - do not sin and if and when you do, confess it quickly and bring it under the blood of Jesus.
Lord, I know who I am in Christ. Help me to continue your good work of destroying the works of evil every day - in my life and the lives of others.
For the family
Here's a helpful article about how to speak to your kids about the devil.
Children delight in the simplicity of heroes and villains. Watch one of your favourite superhero movies together and let them experience the age-old tale of good versus evil