What a contrast our reading from Revelation 20:1-3 presents between Satan and Jesus.
Jesus’ willingly and knowingly came to earth for the purpose of descending into the grave. He fully took on the cloak of mankind that He might face every temptation and experience every emotion known to man. When it came time, He submitted himself to men to suffer, to be hung from a cross, to die, to be placed in a tomb which was then locked and sealed.
But no tomb could hold Him. Not even death. For in three days He rose again, of His own power (even though dead). The stone was rolled back, the seal broken and He was free. An angel sat at the empty tomb, not as a guard, but as a messenger of the good news.
In contrast, Satan never submitted himself to mankind. Satan never did anything for the benefit of man. Satan did not willingly descend into the Abyss, he was thrown there by an angel (note, it didn’t require God, but just an angel who had this level of power over the dragon). Once the Abyss was locked and sealed, Satan, though alive, was powerless. For 1000 years, until, by the will of God, he was set free, the serpent simply “was not”.
This dragon is all show, all deceit, all lies. To us, it seems at times, that evil is winning. We look around and see horrific acts in the world. But even this deception is a lie, isolated and, while dreadful, not of consequence in the matters of eternity. This mighty beast that roars like a line and wants to devour, can cause no long-term harm to any who see the light of God. Even if He were granted to take a life, in the view of eternity, years on earth are less than a blink of an eye.
The message though is even deeper. Satan’s rightful place is to be locked and sealed away in the Abyss. The Holy Spirit’s rightful place is to be flowing through your heart and mind and pouring out into the world in joy and praise and ministering and love. What a contrast!
An angel, key to the Abyss, a great chain in hand, seized dragon bound for 1000 years, threw into the Abyss locked & sealed
evil (or anyone) can only do what God allows. God selects timing and limits and
Satan is a liar and murderer, the father of lies, corrupts man to believe lies and reject truth. blinds the minds of believers so cannot see the true light. prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
It does seem at times that Satan is winning, there is so much evil and wickedness in the world. In addition to all the horrific things, this also causes a high degree of uncertainty and unrest – driving away peace and comfort.