No one wants to live a meaningless life—or die a useless death. Including Jesus. He lived every day on purpose and died the same way.
The Bible tells us Jesus’ purpose was to “to save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) and to “destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). No wonder Satan tried every possible way to keep Jesus off his playground and keep Him from saving us. And if he couldn’t do that, then at least he’d try to steal every bit of joy along the way.
Satan didn’t want Jesus crucified, he just wanted Him dead.
Remember King Herod’s savage massacre of all the baby boys in Bethlehem? That was Satan at work.
Remember a couple times along the way when crowds picked up rocks to stone Jesus? That was Satan stoking the frenzy.
Remember Jesus’ internal agony, His bloody sweat, in Gethsemane? Satan was likely behind that, too.
Satan did anything he could to keep Jesus from fulfilling His two-fold purpose: to die for us and to destroy him.
Sometimes Satan was tricky. Remember when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness? He smoothly reasoned, “You shouldn’t have to die . . . use Your power to escape suffering. If you’re the Son of God, show Your right to reign. I can help you do it.” If Jesus bought that lie, He couldn’t be our Savior.
When Jesus wouldn’t listen to Satan, the enemy thought perhaps Jesus would listen to one of His men . . . Remember when Peter first heard Jesus say He was going to Jerusalem to die? Peter said, “never, Lord!” And Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” Jesus recognized Satan’s strategy even when it came through someone He loved.
Satan used another of Jesus’ men, Judas, to turn on Him. Far from innocent, Judas loved money and that gave Satan the foothold he needed to use Judas to make Jesus suffer more. If he couldn’t keep Jesus from the cross, at least he could make it as painful as possible.
But in every attack, Jesus kept His heart focused. He lived and died on purpose.
Satan’s attacks continue to this day. He wants nothing more than to hurt Jesus and doesn’t mind destroying you in the process.
A very real spiritual war began in your life the day you surrendered your life to Jesus. Your heart became a battlefield. If he can pull you back into your old ways again, well, your destruction is just collateral damage—it’s Jesus he’s after.
But if you belong to Jesus then He won the war for your life on the cross. He disarmed Satan of every weapons, He broke Satan’s stranglehold on your life. At the cross, Jesus won the victory that set you free. That is the truth—call anything else a lie from hell.