The Accomplishments of Jesus on the Cross
The title of this study seems a little ambitous; after all, a full explanation of all that
Jesus accomplished with His death and resurrection would be--well, an accomplishment. Since this
is part of a series on sin, the focus of this study is specifically on how the Cross affected sin,
its chief practitioner, and its hold on us.
When mankind first sinned, God had this to say to the tempter, Satan:
Genesis 3:15"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel."
What's this about a seed?In this verse, the word "seed" refers to Jesus. This is appropriate because He was Eve's decendant. God said that Christ would get bruised (some translations say "crushed") in the heel by Satan, but would bruise (or crush) Satan's head.
God's statement here has enormous significance. Let's look at it more closely. Remember that Satan was taking the form of a serpent, most likely a snake. A snake's head is where the venom is stored; crush it and the snake has nothing else to work with. Satan did bruise the heel of Jesus in that he had Jesus put to death. However, his proximity to the heel was only due to the fact that the heel was coming close to his head for the purpose of crushing it. In essence, his attack on the life of Jesus backfired on him.
This is not the only time that has happened, and in fact, many Christians have stories of how God has taken something which was meant for harm and used it for good. As children of God, the enemy often will try and attack us, and the attacks will come back to haunt him.
While it is nice to hear about how Satan's plans against us bounce back to smack him in the face, none of those stories can compare to the ultimate backlash which resulted from his attack on the Son of God. His plan to kill Jesus is what led to the Resurrection, which made it possible to defeat sin once and for all.
There two parts to this event, of course: the Death and the Resurrection. The death of Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all time, which paid for the sins of each and every one of us, and which made it possible to be in the presence of a perfect and sinless God.
In addition to His death on the Cross, there was the Resurrection. All the plans of Satan could not keep Jesus in the tomb. In fact, Jesus wasn't the only one who was resurrected. The power to defeat death was so strong that even other dead people came out of the graves:
Matthew 27:51-53"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
This was a demonstration of just how powerful Jesus' death and resurrection is. He defeated death, so the dead rose. That was the immediate result. Better for us is the long-term result: He defeated death in our lives also. His death released us from the penalty of sin, and His resurrection released us from the power of sin.
Stop and meditate on that for a moment.
We aren't tied to sin. Sin has been defeated. This is a vital truth which, when you write it onto your heart and apply it to your Christian walk, is very powerful. As a result, it's something Satan does not want you to know. He knows he has been defeated, but he wants to keep you from knowing it as well, as it is that knowledge which keeps you walking upright and focused on your Creator.
During his time on the earth, Jesus defeated Satan in 3 major ways:
1. He managed to live a sinless life, even in times of great temptation.
2. In His Resurrection, He conquered death.
3. He will cast Satan into Hell for all eternity.
Life application:" It is important to remind ourselves of who is on the winning side. The next time Satan accuses you, remind him of who you are in Christ. Remind him of his own threefold defeat. The next time you have the opportunity to sing "Victory in Jesus", have an attitude of thanksgiving for the fact that He is the victor!
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