The Greek word for devil is “diabolos.” And this word refers to someone who is a slanderer or a false accuser.
Satan is our adversary, and one of the ways he loves to fight against us is through lies and accusations. Have you ever wondered why your heart still makes you feel guilty and filled with shame, even when you know in your mind that Jesus has forgiven you for your sin?
This is the way it is when Satan is at work. Even many years — sometimes decades — after we have committed a particular sin, and after being told again and again that Jesus has forgiven us, the devil will still call our past sins to our attention. Guilt floods in. Shame overtakes us.
But the message of Christmas, and the beauty of the book of Revelation, is that the accuser is defeated. We can stop listening to him.
Because Christ, our King, is born. His salvation, his power, his kingdom and his authority are ascendant. And our accuser has been hurled down.
We triumph over Satan today, and over his accusations, when our eyes move from the manger to the cross. There our Savior bled and died to win our forgiveness. We triumph over the power of the devil when we go back to God’s words and promises, and hear once again of the righteousness Jesus won for us through his perfect life and his innocent death.
Christmas (and Good Friday, and Easter) makes us conquerers. It is the end of accusation, because the accuser himself has been banished.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:10-11, NIV).
Lord, Jesus, thank you for becoming a man like us and triumphing over the devil, our accuser. Help me by your gospel promises to remain confident in that forgiveness every day, and to refuse to listen to Satan’s lying accusations. I no longer have to subject myself to his constant accusations because you have overthrown him. I am forgiven, truly forgiven!
Our Bible reading for Sunday, December 20, is Ezra 6:1 – 7:10, Revelation 12:1 – 13:1 and Psalm 145:8-13.
Header image based on "El belen azulgrana" by jacinta lluch valero, CC By-SA 2.0