In his greatest victory, Satan used a tree in a garden to bring about the defeat of mankind. It was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, where the First Adam was overcome by temptation.
God used a garden and a tree to triumph over evil when the Last Adam, Jesus, overcame his greatest temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane and was nailed to a tree at Golgotha to defeat Satan.
The first meeting between Adam and Satan resulted in a win for Satan. The second meeting between Adam and Satan resulted in a win for Adam.
What Jesus did on the cross for mankind was to intercede. Hebrews 7:25 says, Jesus lives forever to intercede with God on our behalf. Romans 8:34 says, Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
The Hebrew word for intercession is ‘paga’. And ‘paga’ means, among other things, ‘to meet’. We normally think of intercession as prayer, but it doesn’t actually mean prayer. It is something that can be done in prayer. One of the ways to look at intercession is to see it as a way of creating a meeting. An intercessor meets with God. They also meet with the powers of darkness.
When we meet with God in prayer we can introduce another person to God. We can set up a meeting between God and the person we are praying for. We are a go-between meeting God and asking him to meet with Mary or Bill or Kim or Park.
But there are also times when we meet with the powers of darkness to undo a meeting.
We undo, break, sever, disconnect in prayer a meeting between the powers of darkness and a victim. Not in our authority, but because we stand in the authority of Jesus.
That was the kind of meeting between Jesus and Satan.
Jesus broke Satan’s grip on us.
Now we stand in his place and do the same.
We heard these verses read this morning from Ephesians – The Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
Jesus met with God for us, meaning he interceded for us. Now we are the church and he is one with us. So we are one with him and stand in his place. Just as Jesus interceded for us so we intercede for others, bringing them to Jesus so he can bring them into the church and into oneness with him.
In and through our prayer, divine connections are made. God is using us to make meetings with his lost children so that he can save them. No one can be saved if we don’t intercede for them. And when we intercede for people, introducing them to our father in heaven, he will meet with them and he will do miracles in their life. That is when people are miraculously healed.
1 John 3:8 says, ‘But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.’
When Jesus met with Satan he destroyed his work. What this means is that Jesus pronounced that the children of God are no longer bound to Satan. The word in the Bible is ‘luo’ and it is a legal word that means we are legally released. It means any contract is declared null and void. Jesus met with Satan and declared that Satan’s legal hold over us was no longer valid, the contract was void. He removed us from Satan’s dominion. Jesus has defeated Satan and destroyed his work.
Another meaning of ‘luo’ is to melt, break, untie something that is bound, batter it into pieces. In Acts 21 the boat Paul was in got smashed to pieces on rocks and the word used is ‘luo’. Peter says that in the last days the earth will ‘luo’, melt or dissolve. Jesus did not just set us free legally, but made sure that our freedom is manifest. He brought healing and set us free from demonic control.
Jesus did that all already when he defeated Satan. Now we are the church and we are one with him in the same amazing way that a wife is one with her husband. We can speak with his voice and our duty is to declare and live out this destruction of Satan’s works.
Matthew 16:19 says, ‘I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.’
The word ‘permit’ here means loose or open and it is the word ‘luo’ again.
Did Jesus luo the works of Satan, or do we luo the works of Satan?
Jesus did luo Satan’s works completely and fully. He broke Satan’s hold over the human race. Yes we do luo Satan’s works, because we represent him and we enforce his victory on earth.
Through prayers of intercession we meet the powers of darkness, and enforce the victory that Jesus won when he met them in his work of intercession.
There was a young woman who was completely paralysed from the neck down. She could turn her head slightly but she couldn’t speak. The doctors could find nothing wrong with her.
She had been that way for two years when a visiting pastor met her and discerned a demonic cause. He knelt beside her wheelchair and whispered in her ear. He was interceding, going between her and the powers of darkness. He met with them in the power and authority of Jesus. He prayed for Satan’s hold over her to be broken (luo) in the name of Jesus, and for her to be released (luo).
Two weeks later she could move her fingers and toes. After a month of gradual progress she was back to normal, free and well. When she could talk she was able to explain what had happened to her.
A witch had made sexual approaches to her and she had rejected them. He had become angry and then he put a curse on her. She didn’t pay any attention, but a short time later she became paralysed and was unable to tell anyone what had happened.
She was freed when someone stepped between her and the powers of darkness, meeting them in Jesus name and enforcing his victory. That is intercession.
When we intercede it is certain there will be a meeting, either with God for the purpose of reconciliation or with the powers of darkness to enforce his victory.
And whenever we intercede, something will change.
We do not need to be intimidated. We represent Jesus. He has qualified you, and any past failures do not matter.
We pray with confidence because he has already destroyed Satan’s works. Jesus has already set the prisoners free. We declare what he has done. Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.
Remember, he has made two into one, we are one with him. Let’s be more fervent and more confident in our prayers of intercession. Let’s meet with God as often as possible for the sake of his work on earth. The work of saving his people on earth.