Thursday, September 7, 2006

Crushing Satan

And the God of peace will crush satan under your feet shortly. (Romans 16:20)
Wow! Imagine satan crushed under your feet. That is what God is doing. That is why Jesus came: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). The Greek word for “destroy” means to break up, to loose and put off, to dissolve and disintegrate, even to melt. It is thorough, complete and irrevocable. It was the anointing of the Anointed One is for, to completely remove the burden and utterly destroy the yoke (Isaiah 10:27).

This was God’s plan from the beginning, when Adam and Eve rebelled against God. He gave this promise, which is known as the protoevangelium, the first mention of the gospel (“good news”): God said to the serpent (satan), “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed [Jesus Christ]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

In the movie The Passion of the Christ, this is graphically portrayed in the first scene, where Jesus is shown praying in the garden of Gethsemane: A snake slithers out from the robes of the satan figure — and Jesus abruptly crushes its head under His foot. That is what happened at Calvary; satan got Jesus up on the cross, right where he wanted Him, but it turned out to be the death blow for satan — Jesus crushed his head!

How did that happen? Because it was not for Himself that Jesus died — it was for us:
Surely He has borne our griefs [literally, sicknesses]
And carried our sorrows [literally, pains]
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted [as if on His own account]
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
(Isaiah 53:4-6)
The wounds and bruises with which satan wanted to afflict Jesus were for our benefit. Jesus endured the chastisement that rightfully belonged to us, and in its place, He gave us His peace. The Hebrew word for “peace,” shalom, refers to wholeness — nothing missing, nothing broken.

Notice in Romans 16:20, it is the God of peace who crushes satan under our feet. That might seem to be a disjunction; what does peace have to do with crushing? But that is exactly how God has given us His peace — Jesus crushed the head of the evil one and destroyed all his works. The work of the devil is to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us His peace, the life of God in abundance (John 10:10).

If Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, then why are they still around today? Because God is not only doing a work in and for His people, He is doing a work through His people. Jesus has delivered the death blow to satan and all his works, but He has given His people the authority and power to enforce that victory over the adversary:
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19)
Jesus has not only given us authority, but power also, just as He promised: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). This is the same power by which Jesus performed all His miracles and destroyed the works of the devil: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth wit the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). The broken power of the devil is no match against the power of the Holy Spirit.

The power of death, the last enemy, was broken when God raised Jesus from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit:
Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to com. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:20-22)
God raised Jesus from the dead. Forty days later, Jesus ascended to His throne in heaven, where rules and reigns forever. All things have been placed under His feet, his authority. The devil and his works have been destroyed — dealt the death blow — though it has not fully manifested on earth as it is in heaven. For we are living between the time of the cross and the end of this present evil age:
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all things under His feet. (1 Corinthians 15:24-25)
God has put all things under Jesus’ feet; God is putting all things under Jesus’ feet. It is not a contradiction, for what God has already done in the spiritual realm is now being worked out in the natural; what He has already perfected in heaven is now being brought forth on the earth. We are living in the time of that outworking. Indeed, we are a part of that outworking, just as Jesus authorized us to bind and loose on earth what is already bound and loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18), and to pray, “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God, be done on earth as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10).

God is crushing satan under our feet. He has given us authority to trample on the power and works of the enemy. Just as these things are under the feet of Jesus, they are under our feet as well. For we are His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (see The Fullness of Him Who Fills). Not only that, but the Bible says that, just as Jesus is seated in the heavenlies at the right hand of the Father, we are also seated there in Him. God has “made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6).

God is putting all things under the feet of Jesus, and you and I get to be a part of that victory. As believers in Jesus, we no longer have to listen to the lies and accusations of the devil, and be subject to his power, for that power has been broken and has no authority, and no ability, to rule over us. We are part of the body of Christ. We are now part of that fullness which fills all in all. God is crushing satan under our feet, and that is the outworking of His peace, His shalom, in the world.

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