Have you ever noticed how time crawls when you’re sick or undergoing major stress? What seemed like an hour you found out later was only five minutes. Can you imagine how long Jesus’ six hours on the cross must have seemed to him? Every minute was an hour and every hour a day. Worse even than the physical torment was the tension over whether or not Satan would make him crack. His obedience to the Father had to be perfect, compensating for all of our disobedience. Even one little sin and all would be lost. No anger, no bitterness, no vengeance fantasies, no hate.
But he didn’t crack. Our Champion stayed strong until the end. With intense relief Jesus knew that his death was now maybe just seconds away. With intense relief he uttered a confident statement of fact that sent the devil howling. “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished’” (John 19:30). His suffering is finished. Satan is finished. Our condemnation is finished. Death is finished. The grave is finished. Hell is finished.
When Satan tempts you to despair, rebuke him with the reminder that he lost. He is a spent force. He is not the king of hell; he in fact will be its most notorious prisoner. Forever. Jesus’ victory is your victory. It is now locked in the past, and for all his tricks Satan cannot undo it.
You are safe.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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