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The Devil Didn’t Think He Won On Good Friday (Sorry, Preachers)

– by Jeff Medders

It’s that time of year when you hear preachers say, “The Devil thought he won on Friday, but he didn’t know about Sunday!”

It preaches well. But I don’t think it’s true.

Painting a potential picture of the demonic realm rejoicing over the death of Jesus, only to have their party ruined by Jesus rising from the dead is a compelling scene. But if we tie together a few Biblical texts and then bake it in some biblical theology, I think we see the Devil wanting to derail Good Friday from happening at all.

The Devil Knows The Plan of God

First, we know that before God created the world, before Genesis 1–2 unfolded, there was a book filled with the names of those who would be redeemed by the blood of Jesus (Revelation 13:8). The Lamb’s book of life also existed before the fall of Lucifer and his henchmen. It’s probably safe to say that Satan knows about this book.

Secondly, Satan would have heard and observed the unfolding plan of God as he slithered in Eden (Genesis 3:15), as God made promises to Abraham (Genesis 15) and David (2 Samuel 7), and as the prophets, like Isaiah (Isaiah 53), thundered about the arrival and actions of the Messiah.

The Devil Wanted To Stop The Crucifixion

First, Jesus is born and what do the demonic powers want to do? Kill him. Through Herod, the ancient Dragon wants to keep Jesus from living the righteous life we need and from being our substitute on the cross (Revelation 12:4–5). He fails.

Second, what does Satan tempt Jesus with in the wilderness (Matthew 4)? A bundle of things: “You can’t trust the Father, he isn’t even giving you bread—you are going to trust him toward death? You only need to bow down to me, and I can give you an inheritance now, glory now—avoid the cross, have it now.” Satan wants Jesus to skirt the cross. Forego suffering. Satan fails.

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The Devil Didn’t Think He Won on Good Friday (Sorry, Preachers)

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