My Victory

Volume Twenty   —   View Song   —  

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Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

 

The devil once had enormous, even overwhelming power over you. He wielded sway over your thoughts, your desires, and your decisions. Even now, as Christians, we often underestimate how violently he attacks our faith.

 

Until we fell, by faith, into the wounded arms of Christ, we had been losing a war worse than any ever fought on earth. Satan had dragged our lifeless souls from one sin-filled pit to the next. We carried “out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:3). And the worst part was that he had convinced us, at some level, that we were really living, really happy, really free.

 

The Awful Power of Death

 

What makes the devil so powerful? He holds the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and enslaves millions their whole lives through the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15). Sin has given him a foothold from which he has terrorized generations in every nation, including this generation and every culture. Satan knows that we all have sinned against God, and he knows that the wages of that sin is death (Romans 6:23), and he wants as many as possible to suffer there, forever.

 

So he lives to accuse us. Day and night, he hurls our sins at the throne of God, begging that we be thrown into hell (Revelation 12:10). And he relentlessly whispers accusations in the courtrooms of our own minds, reminding us of all the reasons God could never forgive or receive us. He drags the awful thought of death into our thoughts about our past, about our future, about our faith, trying everything he can imagine to condemn us.

 

Death does come to each and every person, without exception, and so death torments each and every person, but with one great exception: anyone who already died and risen with Christ. For us, death is no longer a menacing enemy, no longer a weapon formed against us, because death, with Christ, is gain (Philippians 1:21).

 

Flesh and Blood and Death

 

The Creator of the universe and King of history entered into the world he made to rescue those who had defied and disgraced him from death. And to defeat and disarm his greatest enemy, striking sudden and severe in the very heart of hell.

 

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

 

You can almost feel Satan quiver. Could his twisted mind have ever imagined God himself taking flesh and blood, enduring a lifetime of temptation, pain, and sorrow, and then walking into the valley of the shadow of death, even death on a cross? And with his blood, he not only overpowered the strongholds of evil and ripped away their swords, but he sealed their final and utter destruction. Through his death, he will destroy the one who has the power of death.

 

Jesus could have defeated Satan with a simple word from heaven, sending armies of angels to force a surrender, but he fought, and bled, and died for more than victory. Instead of riding in on the clouds of heaven, he was born in a lowly manger, raised in obscurity and poverty, and eventually mounted horribly on a cross, because he wanted to give *us* his victory over sin, Satan, death, and hell.

 

Our Victory

 

How do we experience his victory? “Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4–5).

 

We overcome the world, and the ruler of this world, by surrendering to Jesus. By believing that he really can carry all our sin and shame, that his blood can make us clean and whole, that no sinner has outrun his mercy, that nothing and no one can now separate us from his love. By believing in him enough to do whatever he says. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:2–3). We defeat the forces of evil by following the voice of heaven.

 

Satan thought he had extinguished our hope when he nailed the Son of God to those awful beams, but the cross meant to kill has become our life and victory.