On the surface, things seemed to calm down the Wednesday before Christ’s crucifixion. On Sunday a thunderous crowd followed Jesus into Jerusalem, on Monday He capsized tables at the Temple, and on Tuesday He confronted the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Yet, on Wednesday, we find him reclined at a table in the home of Simon the Leper, where Mary, a prostitute, will find her way in that she might anoint His feet with expensive perfume.
Things seem oddly quiet. But what we find in the midst of the calm, is a storm gently brewing beneath the surface. Because it was on Wednesday that, “Satan entered Judas” (Luke 22:3). And being driven toward evil, he went to the chief priests and the temple guards to discuss just how he might betray Jesus, and they agreed to pay Him a sum of 30 pieces of silver. Then he watched and waited for the right moment.
Quite often we miss this important fact about our lives: there is more to this world than what we see. One of the great themes of the book of Revelation is the spiritual conflict between God and the Dragon, who is Satan himself. The truth behind the curtain, hidden to the naked eye, is that this Dragon has been waging war against God and His people, scheming their destruction. Yet, as we all know, in the end, God will take a clear and undisputed victory over His opponent.
What’s amazing about this little scheme of the devil on the Wednesday of Easter week is that Jesus knew about it all along. In Matthew 26 as Jesus enjoys His last supper with the disciples he speaks of the one who would betray him and quite knowingly He looks to Judas (Matt 26:25). And not only did He know about it, but He had all of his plans working around and through it in order to fulfill His purpose.
We have a spiritual opponent, a deceiving trickster who would be more than happy to see us stumble. We need to be aware of it, and we need to be vigilant in watching for his schemes, doing all that we can to prepare for them. Yet, we also need to remember that the conquering Son of God used the plans of the Devil to deal a finishing blow to death and sin when He died on that cross and rose from the grave three days later.
As you tackle another day as a follower of Jesus, even a day that may seem oddly quiet, let me urge you to do two things:
First, be alert and sober minded. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t let him catch you off guard or with your feet planted anywhere but on the solid rock of Christ Himself and His gospel of grace.
And secondly, take heart, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). You have a mighty Saviour who has claimed you as His own. Surely nothing, not even the Devil himself, could separate you from His love.