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The monster knows he’s defeated

By Thurman Hayes

Carolyn Arends, in an article for “Christianity Today,” tells about a time when some missionaries came to her church. She was a little girl at the time. The missionaries, who were posted in a jungle, shared stories about people coming to know Jesus and lives being transformed. But what Carolyn remembers most vividly was the story they told about a snake.

One day, they left the door to their house open for a time, and when they came back and walked into the kitchen, they beheld a horrifying sight, one that was so terrifying it took their breath away. A monstrous snake, much longer than a human being, had slithered into their house.

They ran in terror and told a local what had happened. The friend smiled a knowing smile, calmly grabbed a machete, walked into their house, and with one chop decapitated the reptilian beast. He then walked back outside and told the missionaries that their problem was solved. But there was a catch — they would have to wait outside until the snake realized he was dead!

Because of the unique neurology and nerves of snakes, even decapitated ones don’t simply quit moving immediately. In the case of this monster, he thrashed around and wreaked havoc for a few hours before finally giving out.

After sharing this, the missionaries looked at the congregation and said, “Do you see the parallel?”

You see, Genesis 3 tells us that, after Satan (in the form of a serpent) did his worst to Adam and Eve, and the door was opened for human beings to plunge into sin, God promised the evil one in Genesis 3:15 that he would eventually be crushed by Jesus.

That has happened, at the cross. 1 John 3:8 says that “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” Colossians 2:14-15 tell us that, at the cross, Jesus “disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publically by his victory over them on the cross.”

Therefore, as believers today, what we are dealing with is an enemy who knows he is a goner. He has already been defeated, and his doom is sealed. But he is thrashing around and wreaking havoc, just like that decapitated snake.

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to liberate Western Europe from Hitler’s malevolent grip. Once they established a beachhead and began landing massive troops and weaponry, Hitler’s eventual destruction was no longer in doubt. The Nazis were going to be destroyed — it was only a matter of time.

Yet some of the most vicious fighting of World War II took place between D-Day (June 6, 1944), when our forces landed in France, and V-E Day (May 8, 1945), when Germany surrendered.

Hitler pulled out all the stops. He did not care about the destruction of German cities or German people. He was like a decapitated snake who would keep flailing around, and doing as much evil as he could until the very end.

So it is with the devil. But his end is coming. Until then, let’s remember that we are dealing with a decapitated foe, and that the Risen One, who has crushed his head, stands ready to help us.

 

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.