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After entering Jerusalem on a donkey and proclaiming Himself Messiah, the Jews continued rejection of Jesus became final. Jesus, knowing crucifixion was certain, told His followers what would happen so they wouldn’t be surprised or discouraged. “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out” (John 12:31). The coming judgment on Satan and this evil world system is so certain Jesus speaks of it as if it is currently happening. “Driven out” is the same Greek word (edballoe) that is used of casting demons out of people.

A few days later, after the Last Supper and while walking to Gethsemane, Jesus affirmed the same truth. “The prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11). Satan was given authority over this world system from Adam when he sinned and followed Satan’s advice. Now Jesus is winning it back (Romans 5:12-21). Satan will be condemned by Jesus’ victory over sin on the cross. Again, using the present tense shows Jesus’ assurance that it is as good as done!

LESSON FOR TODAY: We must always remember that Satan is a defeated foe. He was cast out of his original position in heaven because of pride (Ezekiel 28:16; Luke 10:18; Isaiah 14:12). His judgment was pronounced in Eden (Genesis 3:14-15). He was defeated by the cross (John 12:31). He will be cast to the earth in the tribulation (Revelation 9:1; 12:7-12), bound during the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-3) and then cast into the lake of burning sulfur forever (Revelation 20:7-10; Isaiah 27:1; 40:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:8).

The culmination of the battle between God and Satan which started in Eden ended as God predicted, with Satan painfully wounding Jesus but with Him defeating Satan (Genesis 3:15). But it was a terrible battle, the worst ever. Jesus, as a man, faced all the hate, violence and evil Satan and all his demons could throw at Him. They literally drug Him through hell for those hours, totally separated from God and facing it as a man. Yet He stayed faithful and endured, paying the price for every sin we would ever commit (Hebrews 2:14-15; Colossians 2:15).

LESSON FOR TODAY: Satan and his forces are defeated foes, having given their all to destroy Jesus on the cross, but being beaten by Him instead (Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Peter 3:18-22). Now they are free to continue their work because God still honors man’s free will and allows each one to decide whom they want to serve. They have been condemned and sentenced, now they are awaiting that sentence to begin. Knowing their time is short they strive to do all the evil they can against God and His people. When Jesus returns Satan and his demons will be cast into the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:1-15).

Jesus defeated death on the cross. He paid for every sin, then said “It is finished (John 19:30).” Only then did He voluntarily leave His body for there was no more any need to suffer in humiliation (John 19:30). Every sin had been paid for, Satan and his forces had been defeated. Technically Jesus didn’t die for our sins, He suffered for them and died because His work was done. Sin did not kill Jesus, nor did Satan. It wasn’t a matter of waiting to see if He’d come back to life. He voluntarily died and so He also voluntarily came back to life. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension showed His victory over Satan on the cross. He freed us from sin and gave us eternal life (Ephesians 4:8).

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