April 9, 2020
In Luke 22:1-6 we read:
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
From the very beginning of the Bible, Satan has been trying to undermine the plans and goodness of God. It began with deceiving Adam and Eve into death and separation from the Garden. It continued with the attempt to destroy Joseph at the hands of his brothers. It continued with the attempt to destroy the Israelites in Egypt. It continued with the attempt to catch and kill the Israelites at the Red Sea. It continued with Saul trying to kill the Lord’s King, David. It continued with Goliath coming against the Lord’s King, David. The Old Testament is full of account after account of the enemy trying to snuff out the lineage that would produce the One seed that would crush Satan’s head.
The devil’s work of destruction against the God’s plan of redemption and freedom continued into the days of Jesus. Satan motivated Herod to kill the baby born in Bethlehem. Satan tried to trick and tempt Jesus into disobedience in the wilderness and He tried to be a stumbling block to Jesus when He caused Peter to challenge Jesus and deny him three times.
And now, on the eve of Passover, Satan tried again – he enters Judas in an attempt to betray Jesus into the hands of his enemies so they could get rid of Him. They were going to kill Jesus.
But here is the irony and here is the Good News: what the enemy intends for evil, God turns to God (Genesis 50:20). Adam and Eve had a renewed life with the Lord outside the Garden. Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. David outlasted King Saul and killed Goliath. And even though Jesus was betrayed into the hands of his enemies and was crucified and killed – He rose from the dead and defeated and destroyed all the works of the devil. What the enemy intended for evil, God turned to good and his very strategies were turned against him. And in being turned against the devil, not only were the devil’s plans thwarted, the blessings to God’s people were abundant.
So, in this season of despair, darkness and disease because of the coronavirus, the devil wants to use this to destroy us and to beat us down. But be encouraged – what the devil intends for evil, the Lord can turn around to good and we can know His abundant peace, His overflowing joy and the victory of the Good News that Jesus is alive in us. Let the Lord destroy the devil’s work and let the Lord protect your hearts and mind by His grace.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder for the Good News that He, Jesus, who is in me, is greater than the devil who roams about in this world. Thank you for the Good News that it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me. Thank you Jesus for your presence that is also your power in me that enables me to live in confidence and victory with the knowledge that you are able to turn every strategy of the devil to my good. Holy Spirit, fill me with power and grace in knowing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I will not allow myself to be governed by the presence of the coronavirus, rather I will be controlled by you Holy Spirit and bring glory to the Father and to the Son. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.