11/01/16 Darkness Reigns?

READING: Luke 21-22

The crucifixion of Jesus was on the horizon, and Satan was busy at work. It was Satan who “entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve” (Luke 22:3) and led him to betray Jesus to His death. The enemy also sought permission from Jesus to “sift all of you [the disciples] as wheat” (Luke 22:31). It was the hour, Jesus said, “when darkness reigns” (Luke 22:53). It surely looked like Satan was winning as those who arrested Jesus led Him toward His death.  

Not so, however. At no point in the crucifixion tragedy was Satan outside of God’s control. Jesus Himself said that He would die “as it has been decreed” even while human beings would still be held accountable for His betrayal (Luke 22:22). Likewise, Satan could not attack the disciples without first securing permission from Jesus (Luke 22:31). The enemy did not win when Jesus died; instead, in one of God’s great reversals, the enemy’s hand in the death of Jesus would actually lead to his own defeat. 

In today’s reading, this kind of reversal is evident in Peter’s fall as well. Jesus allowed Satan to sift all of the disciples, but He prayed specifically for Peter that his faith would not ultimately fail (Luke 22:31). Peter did fall, but Luke alone of the Gospel writers tells us that Jesus never took His eyes off the fleeing disciple: “Just as he [Peter] was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times’” (Luke 22:60-61). All Peter could do was weep bitterly as the rugged fisherman was forced to see his own fickle faith. 

Again, it surely looked like Satan was victorious. He had won temporarily, but God would ultimately win. Broken, defeated, and grieving, Peter learned just how far he could fall — while also learning that he could not fall so far that Jesus could not see him. He would learn about grace like he never had; Jesus, who was on His way to die for the very sins that Peter was committing, still kept the disciple in his sights. In God’s economy, Peter’s tears of confession and defeat would water the seeds of coming repentance and renewal. 


  • In your quiet time today, consider what it would be like to have Jesus look straight at you when you sin. 
  • Having taken that step, forsake sin when temptation comes today. 

PRAYER: “Father, You’re in charge, even over Satan. Give me discipline to ignore the enemy’s lures today.”   







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