Advent – Jesus is the Conqueror
Advent – Jesus is the Conqueror
The story of the world is the story of a battle between God and Satan. By the third page of the Bible, Satan had already convinced the people who were made in God’s image to rebel against their creator and provider.
So God said to Satan in Genesis 3:15, “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring,” and we’ve been fighting Satan ever since:
- 2 Corinthians 2:11 says Satan tries to cause bitterness in the hearts of believers.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:18 says he tries to stop us from telling other people about Jesus. Have you ever tried to share the gospel with someone, and it just didn’t come out right?
- Revelation 12:10 calls him the accuser of the brethren, which means when you mess up, he loves to remind you of what you’ve done. Do you ever wake up at 3am and you can’t go back to sleep because you’re stewing over your failures and mistakes?
- Romans 16:17–20 says he sows division in the church. He tries to get God’s people to rebel against their leaders.
- But then 1 Timothy 3:6 says he puffs Christian leaders up with pride so they’ll fall.
- And then as a result, 2 Timothy 2:24-26 says that he makes unbelievers focus on the failures of Christians so they won’t take the gospel seriously.
We’ve always been in a war with Satan, but in God’s sovereign plan, that war wouldn’t last forever. In Genesis 3:15 he said, “ I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
In other words, there’s going to be someone coming who’s going to be an offspring of the woman Eve, not an offspring of Adam. Who could that be? Only the one conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin: Jesus. The offspring of a woman, not of a man. Eve, not Adam. Which means he didn’t inherit the sin nature that Adam passed along. And that’s when the war really began.
The first Christmas was D-Day in the war on Satan. And Satan knew it. He tried to stop the attack before it could even start — he got King Herod so insanely jealous of this baby Jesus that he killed all the baby boys in Bethlehem. But it didn’t work, and so Jesus grew up and the battle was on.
Jesus and Satan fought out in the wilderness, and Satan left with his tail between his legs. Then Jesus started casting out demons (something nobody else could do), demonstrating his unique authority over them.
The entire ministry of Jesus was a direct assault on Satan, so Satan tried one last time to take him out. One last hail Mary. Satan entered into Jesus’ disciple Judas, and inspired him to betray Jesus to his enemies. Satan got Jesus put on trial. Satan convinced the crowds in Jerusalem to demand that Pilate execute him. Satan got him up on the cross.
He was smiling to himself when Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was laughing out loud when Jesus said, “It’s finished!” and took his last breath.
But then, everything went sideways. The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Satan said to himself, “Wait, what? I thought I separated all these people from God. I thought I broke them up! Now God’s torn the curtain in two? Top to bottom? They have direct access to him?”
The tombs were opened, and dead believers were raised. And Satan said, “Wait, what? I thought I killed those people. I thought they were dead! Now… they’re not?”
Then three days later, Jesus himself rose from the dead. He triumphed over sin and death, just as God foretold back in Genesis 3: “He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
When Jesus rose from the dead, God said to Satan: “You had Jesus betrayed, tied up, whipped, mocked, and spit on. You got his hands and feet nailed to a cross. You got his heart sliced open, spilling out blood and water. You even got him into the grave for a few days. But that was just a little ankle bite. That was nothing! While you were getting your little fang into his heel, he was bashing you in the head with a sledge hammer! You’ll definitely feel that in the morning!”
Satan brought a little discomfort, but Jesus brought total destruction. As Colossians 2:15 says, God disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in Christ. Satan has been conquered by Jesus, and it all launched on the first Christmas 2000 years ago.
There are probably things you want to conquer in life. Bad habits. Negative thoughts. Sinful tendencies. Jesus made that possible through his birth on Christmas, death on Good Friday, and resurrection on Easter. Celebrate that as you celebrate his arrival.