Did the Romans Take Jesus’ Life? + Does Satan Live in Hell? #368 #TheFinalCountDown3
Hello friends and happy Tuesday to you. We have arrived at the final countdown – three days to go, and only two more episodes after this. Don’t abandon ship just yet though…because we will still be here for season three of this podcast, and I believe it will be different, but still daily, and still Bible, and still featuring amazing guest stars like Hugh Jackman, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Queen Elizabeth II and Archduke Ferdinand. Okay, maybe some of that was a stretch. Today we will be reading from 2nd Chronicles 34, Malachi 2, a very, very hard-hitting chapter, John 19, and Revelation 20.
Two questions today, and we will lead off with Revelation first. Where does Satan live? Ask most Americans, and they will tell you that Satan lives and rules in Hell. They might envision him sitting on a throne with a pitchfork in hand, or going around hell and greeting newcomers and making them do terrible things for punishment. The idea given in popular culture is that Satan inhabits hell and enjoys it there, and his ‘job’ is to make it hard on everybody that is bad and has been sent to hell. This is pure balderdash, and is honestly silly in terms of what the Bible actually teaches about hell. Where does Satan live now? Well, apparently he lives on the earth and is the ruler of the world, according to Jesus:
Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
See also 1 John 5:19 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.
He is also apparently the ruler of the atmosphere/air as well, according to Paul the apostle:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient.
So, does Satan live and rule in hell? Absolutely not -he lives and rules on the earth! But one day – oh glorious day – he will indeed dwell in hell. Let’s read about that in Revelation 20.
10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
So, the devil most assuredly won’t be ruling in hell, he will be disciplined in hell.
Second question, and it’s a bit of a trick question. Did the Romans take Jesus’ life? And I believe the answer to that question is – NO, they did not. To take something from somebody seems to imply some sort of force or deception, but this is not what happened in the crucifixion of Jesus – the fact of the matter is that nobody took Jesus’ life from Him – HE GAVE IT of His own accord. Let’s read John 19.
So – did the Romans kill Jesus? In a sense, they were just following orders. Very clearly Pilate wanted to have nothing to do with killing Jesus, but he gave in to the Jewish leaders who were insistent that Jesus be crucified. So, did the Jews take Jesus’ life, or the Romans? And again, I believe the answer is NEITHER. Nobody took Jesus’ life – He gave it! Remember yesterday’s reading when Peter knocked that guy’s ear off? Jesus responded to that violence with this statement:
11 At that, Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Jesus is very clear that He is willingly going to His death. Certain people tried to kill Jesus many times, but they never succeeded until He let them. Pastor Tim Keller has some good insights on the importance of Jesus’ laying down His life, rather than it being taken from Him:
He says in verse 17, “I lay down my life [for the sheep] … No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” Jesus Christ is the one Shepherd who lays down his life. If you take a look at Jacob, Jacob was a great shepherd. He worked for his father-in-law, Laban, and there’s a place where Jacob comes and says, “If I lose any sheep, either if they’re stolen or they’re devoured by beasts, with my own hand I will repay and recompense you,” but he doesn’t say, “I’ll die for the sheep.”
You know, David, we’re told was a great shepherd who when a lion and a bear came and took some sheep away, he followed them down, tracked them down, and killed them, the lion and the bear. He was willing to risk his life for his sheep, but do you think he would’ve gone if he had known the only way to get those sheep back was to forfeit life? No. Great shepherds, fine shepherds, but they don’t die for the sheep.
The uniqueness of Jesus Christ as a Shepherd is he lays down his life for his sheep, and he lays it down voluntarily. He says, “No one takes my life from me. I give it of my own accord. This is the will of God. He has given me authority to do that. This is not a suicide, but my Father has given me this command. My Father has given me this authority, and I willingly do it.”
Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
Our response? Utter gratitude!