Disarming the Devil
1 John 3:8
Ask a handful of people why Jesus Christ came to earth and you will probably get a handful of different answers. And all of them will contain some of the truth: to save the lost, to heal the sick and do good, to be an example for sinners, to teach us the ways of God. Jesus did all those things and more. But they describe more of the “What?” than the “Why?”
Since Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, we might ask the question this way: “Why did God come to earth?” The God of the universe, the Creator of time and matter, the Sovereign shaper of the affairs of humans and angels, came to earth—but why? By Jesus’ own words, he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17), to bring a sword of division (Matt. 10:34-35), to preach the gospel (Mark 1:38), to bring fire on the earth (Luke 12:49), to do the will of God (John 6:38), to judge the world (John 9:39), to give abundant life (John 10:10), to be a light (John 12:46), and to serve and give his life as a ransom (Mark 10:45). In truth, all of these “purpose” statements of Jesus can their find their place under a larger umbrella opened by the apostle John: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
Everything else that Jesus did on earth was to serve the ultimate goal of destroying what Satan has been doing “from the beginning:” sinning against God and tempting others to do so. Since death is the main weapon in the devil’s extensive armory, he had to be disarmed. Why? Because once human beings die, the next event is judgment (Heb. 9:27). Therefore, God came to earth to destroy the devil’s work by defeating (reversing the effects of) death and canceling the penalty for sin. He “disarmed the powers and authorities” arrayed against God, “triumphing over them by the cross” (Col. 2:15). Christ’s resurrection forever removed the eternal sting from Satan’s weapon of death (1 Cor. 15:54-55).
From now on, whenever you read about Jesus, think of everything he did as serving the purpose of disarming the devil. Because death has been defeated, you can live forever.
God’s Promise to You: “You can live free from all fear because I have destroyed the devil’s work.”
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