“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Satan Opposed the Cross

We have seen how God in his great power and wisdom overcame the problem of human sin, but what about that older evil, Satan himself? How did Christ conquer Satan, the source of all evil, on the cross? How much did Satan know of God’s plans, and what was he trying to accomplish when Christ became incarnate?

According to the Gospel writers, Satan was at least somewhat aware of Jesus’ intentions in becoming incarnate, and tried to deter him. John Piper writes,

“Satan tried to turn him away from the path of suffering and sacrifice. In the wilderness, he tempted him to turn stones into bread and jump off the temple and get the rulership of the world by worshiping him (Matthew 4:1-11). The point of all these temptations is: ‘Don’t walk the path of suffering and sacrifice and death. Use your power to escape.’” – John Piper, Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose for the Glory of Christ, p. 100
Piper also notes Matthew 16:23. In this passage, Jesus announces that he must suffer and die, and Peter rebukes him and says this will never happen (16:22). Jesus responds to Peter by saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” It seems, then that Satan was at work again to turn Jesus away from his set path to Calvary.

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