Ive always been an outside person. A person who likes daylight savings time. Someone who loves the long days of summer. I love the light, the sun, and the day. So when the Bible uses images of light and darkness, it makes perfect sense to me. But even so, I sometimes lose my edge. The battle of light and darkness, the reality of Satans schemes, the spiritual warfare that goes on everyday become less real and more theoretical.
Each week, however, I celebrate the Lords Supper. On this first day of the week encounter with the Lord and his incredible sacrifice, I am reminded that light and darkness are not theoretical terms. The malevolence of Satan and his sabotage in my life, and those I love, is not something imaginary. His hatred of me, of good, of God, is as real as the wood of the cross on which Jesus hung. Jesus died to take away Satans ultimate power over our lives, sin and death (Hebrews 2:14-18).
When Paul spoke to the Ephesians about the power of evil, they knew it. They had seen it. Many of them had left their past life in the occult to come to Christ (Acts 19:8-20). When Paul warned them about this evil power, they believed him (Ephesians 6:10-12):
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
When Peter warned people of the same region, they awoke from their spiritual slumber (1 Peter 5:8-9):
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
So in this week when Satan and the forces of darkness are celebrated and the power of the demonic world is caricatured and marketed, lets be reminded that these forces are real and destructive and meant to do us harm. But lets also remember that "the one us is greater than the one in the world" (1 John 4:4). Lets remember that Christ has already cursed the darkness and defeated Satan at his own game, humiliating him through the cross (Colossians 2:15). Every time we celebrate someone being buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk a new life we are cursing the darkness (Colossians 2:12-15). Every time we celebrate Communion, we are remembering Christs death, burial and resurrection and proclaiming his victory over darkness (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Christ defeated Satan at his own game, humiliating him through the cross.|
Satan is real and his power is great. But in Jesus, we triumph over Satans attacks because the victory is already won. We are a people whose lives of victorious and holy hope are cursing the darkness and are anticipating the dawn of the day all darkness is gone.