“Up from the grave He rose with a mighty triumph over His foes!” The words of the old hymn reflect a theme which is well known, that of Jesus’ triumph over the devil when He rose again. So here is another take on it inspired by studying Revelation 12 (as part of my ongoing study of Grasping God’s Word by Duvall and Hays).
In the Old Testament Satan turns up in some unusual places:
The Garden of Eden (Genesis 3)
Among the sons of God in the presence of the Lord (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7)
Standing before the Angel of the Lord accusing Joshua and being rebuked by the Lord (Zechariah 3:1-2)
And is he the one among all the host of heaven that Micaiah saw in 1 Kings 22:19-22?
But whatever his place in the Old Testament there is no doubt about his place after Jesus was risen and glorified. Revelation 12 makes it clear: Israel bears a Child and that Child is caught up to God and His throne and now, because Jesus is there, there is no longer any place for Satan nor his angels.
“Now salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Rev. 12:9-12)
As people who are born from above we ought to walk on the Sea in heaven (Rev. 15:2) and not live beneath its surface nor be earth bound in our thinking. There, before the throne, sprinkled on the mercy seat, the blood speaks a better thing that Abel’s did. His blood cried out for vengeance, Jesus’ blood cries out “Forgive!” Mercy triumphs over judgement.
What is your testimony? Can you say: “This is what God did for me today” or “This is what He spoke to me today” or “This is how I obeyed His calling on my life today.” Today is the day of salvation. The word of your testimony is that God is alive and active in your life constantly pushing back the devil’s claims of this age and his way of looking at things. The word of your testimony says that you have direct communion through the Holy Spirit with God the Father because of the finished work of Jesus. This defeats one of the devil’s main lies that you have to go through some man with a collar (or without) to find God.
Is your life constantly laid down for another in Christ? Do you continually walk in the death of Christ so that you may also know His resurrection? (Phil. 3:10-11). This is the great challenge for comfortable Christendom in this age.
Oh God! May I also be given the grace to walk in the light of heaven with my eyes fixed on the throne where Jesus is seated at the right hand of God when the devil turns up with a fair face and in that delusion that, if possible, would even deceive the elect! (Matthew 24:24 and 1 Thessalonians 2:10 -12)