Lent Devotion for March 31
"Satanic Power Bruising the Redeemer’s Heel"
Reader: "Only by dying…"
Response: "…could he break the power of the devil.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22:20-21
20 Save me from the sword;
spare my precious life from these dogs.
21 Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
and from the horns of these wild oxen.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 3:15
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 2:14-15
14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
Reader: “The word of the Lord."
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
For the last several months our family has been reading aloud (again) C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Tonight we read where the great Aslan came to life after being killed by the White Witch. As I was reading the hauntingly descriptive narration, I was moved to tears as I was reading! My family, who is somewhat used to it, wondered why I was so moved. I told them about what I’ve been writing in these daily reflections. What Christ did and endured has registered with me more deeply than ever before. In the above passages, we are reminded of the cruel and villainous nature of Satan. While he is powerful, he is no match for the Savior. Make no mistake, it is not a matter of two equals struggling for control. Satan would have us as his own. The devil, via sin, had the power of death. Our rebellion put us unavoidably, and permanently in the “death line” of the devil. There was no way out. Death and alienation from God forever were absolute for all. To rescue us, Jesus would be severely injured in taking our place in that line. For this substitution to be efficacious, that is to accomplish fully what it was intended to do, Jesus had to be completely human and receive the full brunt of the devil’s power which brought great pain on every level to the Savior. Jesus received all hell could muster and eternally, absolutely, completely, victoriously destroyed the power of sin, evil, death, and the devil forever! Untold millions of believers in Christ have been set free from the “line of sin and death” as Another has stepped into their place. Today as you go about your business, you will encounter those still standing in that line. Tell them you know someone who will take their place and set them free!
MUSIC: "O Valiant Hearts” by Sam Robson (lyrics below)
O Valiant Hearts
Words were taken from a poem by Sir John Stanhope Arkwright (1872–1954) It is reflective of those who fought in World War I. In a larger sense, it relates to all those faithful whose pilgrim path on this earth has ended. -DS
O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.
Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God.
Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still,
Rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill,
While in the frailty of our human way,
Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self same way.
Still stands His Cross from that dread hour to this,
Like some bright star above the dark abyss;
Still, through the veil, the Victor’s pitying eyes
They who have drunk His cup of sacrifice.
O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our dead,
Whose cross has bought them and Whose staff has led,
In glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land
Commits her children to Thy gracious hand.
Lord Jesus, you suffered for me—what am I suffering for you?
–Corrie ten Boom