Do you remember a line by a comedian some years ago that went, “The devil made me do it?” While James 1:13-15 clearly tells us that sin results from our own evil desires or lusts within us this however does not preclude any involvement by Satan who certainly makes use of our desires by laying stumbling blocks before us in an attempt to draw us away from our loving God. His objective? Draw as many away from God as possible.
In the recent portrayal of Christ’s passion we see several instances of Satan’s presence. While they are not recorded in scripture, I don’t have any trouble believing he was there. At the end of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, Satan departed “until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). That “opportune” time would be a suitable or appropriate time for a particular purpose. What could be more suitable than the event that would bring about reconciliation between man and God? Was Satan present? I believe he wouldn’t have been anywhere else. This was the “more opportune time” and he was going to make the most of it.
It is interesting to note that Jesus did not acknowledge Satan’s presence. Even in His weakened and afflicted state Jesus maintained the focus of His goal, that being to die for your sins and mine. At the most pivotal point in all the history of mankind Satan was there prodding Jesus to ask the Father to remove the cup, if possible. But His focus drove Him to also say “but not My will but Thine be done.” Did Satan prompt the crowd to cry out “Crucify Him”? What prompted the religious leaders to provoke Jesus, who saved others, to save Himself? What of the thieves who were crucified on either side of Jesus? Each took their shots at Him before one repented, changed his mind, and asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Oh, I believe Satan witnessed the events as they unfolded, up to and including his crushing defeat, much to his disbelief. Don’t be another victim of Satan’s schemes, (Eph 6:11) resist him and turn to Jesus now and put on the full armor of God.
Copyright © 2004, Nolan P. Rutter