The Cosmic Conspiracy, Part 10
Before we go back to the scene of the crime at the trial of Jesus, we must linger a little longer on Satan’s compulsive craving to shed human blood. The previous post made the claim that God’s pure love for humans is displayed as total self-sacrifice centered around saving life. Satan’s hatred for God and humans is displayed as a total and all-consuming self-love that centers around destroying life. If life is in the blood, then blood becomes the epicenter of the cosmic war that is raging on our planet. Satan is out for blood, literally.
Consider this familiar passage of scripture:
Be of sober [spirit], be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [1 Pe 5:8 NASB]
Let's break this verse down to see what is really going on. Peter is warning and encouraging the saints who were under heavy persecution from both the Jewish state religion and the Roman Empire (these two institutions were firmly in the grasp of Satan and under his demonic control bent on destroying the fledgling Church). He tells them to be on high alert as Satan and his hordes of demons, their real enemies, were on the prowl looking for someone to devour.
The word prowl in this passage indicates a way of living, or how one conducts his life. In the case of a lion, they prowl around when they are hungry and lay around when they are full. In this context, however, Peter is saying that the devil is always prowling around indicating that he is ALWAYS hungry and NEVER full. Peter also says that the devil is always prowling around as our adversary. This is a legal term that the first century readers would have understood as meaning someone who was constantly filing lawsuits to have someone judged guilty, punished, and ultimately sentenced to death for a capital crime.
This obsession of Satan is brought out in Revelation 12:10. The Apostle John is seeing in vision from what is taking place in the courtroom of Heaven (different than the Throne Room of Heaven). Jesus is presented here in all of His power, authority, splendor and majesty, casting down every lawsuit of Satan, who is depicted as constantly (day and night) accusing the saints as worthy of death because of their sin (the wages of sin is death). Jesus is declaring each case dismissed because HIS blood has covered (atoned for, paid for, remitted, washed away, etc.) ALL sin for those who have been born again through His blood. This drives Satan into madness and just fuels his passionate crusade to find charges against us that will stick.
Why is Satan so eternally obsessed with a death sentence against us? Is the purpose just to populate hell so when he gets there he has cellmates? I have heard it said that, “Satan knows he’s a loser and he is just trying to take as many people to hell with him as possible.” If Satan is pure evil than I propose to you that he is taking no thought of losing the war that he started, and that going to hell is not part of his thought process. Satan is so purely evil that all he can see is his own self-love being satisfied. This self-love is so powerfully blinding that it is all Satan can see. In light of this, I am not sure if Satan even believes there is a hell! So if taking people to hell with him is not his obsession, what is?
I believe that the answer to this question is in Peter’s last comment in the verse cited above. Satan, depicted as an obsessed prosecuting adversary, is “seeking someone to devour.” The word seeking does not just mean looking for something. It is an all consuming need, lust, and desire for something. It indicates that the one seeking can’t help him/herself in seeking after it. We might equate this to someone who is so addicted to something and is so overwhelmed with obtaining it that they would compromise anything to get it. The end result of an addiction is that the thing sought actually controls the one seeking after it. In a sense, all physical, emotional, rational, relational, and moral control is taken over in the quest to obtain the object of the obsession.
Peter also states that Satan is seeking someone to devour. This word indicates that there is a certain target in mind. Satan is forever hungry and never satisfied. So, in his quest to find that certain someone, he will destroy everything in his path to get to it. If you can picture a drug addict that has been so ravaged by the drug that has now taken control of his life who would not give a second thought to lying, stealing, cheating, betraying, and even killing to get more of what is already killing him, you can get a watered down view of Satan’s obsession to seek that someone to devour.
That someone(s) is a Christian. Satan is addicted to devouring Christians. Satan is so purely addicted to this evil, and so obsessed with the insatiable need to feed his self-love, that his entire being (along with all his demon hordes) exists for one purpose - to devour. But why Christians, specifically? To be sure, Satan is no respecter of life on any level. Satan is so eternally consumed with a need to devour that any living being in his path is just fuel for the raging wickedness that is seething within him. But Christians contain something that all other living beings do not. And this is at the very core of the cosmic conspiracy.
The last word that Peter uses to describe the obsession of Satan is, devour. If we stick with Peter’s motif of the lion, our minds can immediately go to a scene where a lion has just captured its prey and is gorging itself on the flesh of its kill. This is a gruesome enough picture. But the real focal point of this scene is when the lion lifts its head to take a breath and we can see its face just covered in blood. As much as the lion is enjoying the flesh, it is intoxicated with the blood of its prey. This is the key to understanding the word devour. The root of this word means to gulp, as in drinking something quickly, and with intense purpose. If your body has gone without water for an extended period of time and you are absolutely parched, you are not going to slowly sip a glass of water when you finally get one. You will gulp, or “devour” it.
The scene of the Last Supper that was referred to in the previous post will help tie all of this together. After Jesus and His disciples shared the Passover meal together, Jesus took bread, broke it in front of His disciples, and illustrated that the broken bread was His body that would be broken (killed) for them. Jesus was going to assume the guilt and punishment for all sin, for all humans, for all time by dying in our place. His body would take on the death sentence that was hanging over us. He then passed the bread around for all of them to eat (His Body) together, thereby declaring that His body was given for ALL.
Because Jesus was going to give His life up for us, He would also have to give up His blood for us, as “the life is in the blood.” To illustrate this, Jesus took a cup of wine and declared that (symbolically) this was His blood, the blood of a new covenant, that would seal and secure eternal life for all who “drink it.” If life is in the blood, then “drinking” Jesus’ blood would mean that the life of Jesus was now in all who share the cup. Jesus passed the cup around and said, drink. This is the same word, devour, that Peter used to describe Satan’s intentions for Christians. Put another way, Satan seeks to drink the blood of believers because the blood of believers now is the blood of Jesus. God’s blood was now in humans.
This concept seems so grotesque. Why does Christianity have to be so bloody? Why does the Bible have so many narratives of bloody wars and bloody conflicts between people? Why so much bloodshed in animal sacrifices? The answer keeps going back to the essence of life, which is in the blood. It is the way God built His life into His creation. If Satan is ever going to dethrone God, and indeed, become God, Satan will have to somehow possess this life-giving blood. And the way he sees getting what he wants and needs is to “drink this blood” to possess life and become God.
As wild and warped as this may sound, its basis is seen in reality. The story line goes all the way back to the expulsion of humans from the Garden. The first corrupt result of the fall was the murder of Able by his satanically inspired brother, Cain. After the murder, God calls out to Cain that his brother’s blood that was spilled on the ground (must have been a brutal murder) was crying out. Blood has life, and therefore, blood has a voice.
Since that time, multiple millions of murders have been committed through demonic inspiration creating a writhing sea of human blood that is crying out to God. Millions of people have been slaughtered in wars of hate and rage, and their blood cries out. Just imagine the sound of hundreds of millions babies that have been aborted around the world whose little voices cry out to God as their bodies are brutally murdered and their blood is sucked out into a medical device. Satan is on a blood thirsty rampage and is devouring blood wherever he can get it.
Since the Fall when people began to worship demon-gods, the shedding, and even the actual drinking of the blood of sacrificed animals and humans has been part of Satan worship. To this day, elements of Satanic worship includes animal and human sacrifice and the drinking of blood. When God began the process of building a nation (the Hebrews) that came from a demonically controlled culture, He forbade the drinking of blood. There is something eternally holy in the blood that God created.
Satan, as a ravenous lion, is looking up from his kills with a blood-stained face just roaring with a wicked, perverted, passion for more. His evil thirst to devour blood is unquenchable. His all-consuming fixation of becoming God is centered around obtaining the power of this holy blood. This will become his undoing, as we shall see.
Satan is addicted to blood. And the blood of a Christian is his drug of choice. This is why Christianity is so bloody. In order to stop the carnage God had to step into the bloodbath and allow His blood to be poured out. This is where the cosmic conspiracy takes a glorious turn in the midst of all the gore. This is where bloodshed becomes beautiful. This is where, “the life is in the blood” reveals its true meaning.
In the next post we will return to the scene of the trial of Jesus as He stood beaten and bloodied before the religious leaders, the Roman authorities, and a mob of blood thirsty co-conspirators. Satan has his prey cornered and a feeding frenzy is about to unfold.
So stay tuned, and tune in...
by Pastor Jim Anan