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Who’s the real enemy here?

His final Passover came much too quickly.

It was over even more quickly.

Not being one to delay, He knew the time had come. All had been said. All had been done. So they sang the customary hymn from the psalter and departed.

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

(Mt 26:30)

Scholars tell us that the Rabbi and His disciples would have sung the second half of the Egyptian Hallel, which includes Psalms 115-118.

With their bellies full and their countenance lifted high from the sacred celebrations, voices soared with their spirits as they sang their thanksgiving to God in native tongue. But only the One for Whom it was written really understood its fulfillment was at hand.

The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.

(Ps 118:7)

The Jews of Jesus’ day believed the enemy over which the Messiah would be victorious was Rome. His most immediate enemies, however, sat in council seats or wielded whips and crossbeams.

Since then, many have deduced that the enemy was none other than satan, and rightly so. Others consider the enemy of God as anyone who either commits evil, opposes the advancement of the gospel, persecutes the church, or blasphemes the holy Son of God.

In reading Psalm 118, I further pondered the depths of enmity.

Who’s the real enemy?

As it usually does, Scripture cut deep, with power to convict . . . and humble. You see, it occurred to me that I once was the enemy.

As Jesus looked down from the cross, I was among the throng of His enemies.

Often, however, I point the finger elsewhere when I come across that cutting word, enemy.

Scripture makes it quite clear: before I was reconciled to God through Christ Jesus, I was, in fact, in enmity with Him.

Yes, I was once the enemy—a child of God’s wrath.

Oh, but the verse says, “I looked in triumph on My enemies.” He won me over, you see. He conquered the territory of this once wretched soul. Not by force, mind you. No, He pursued. He persuaded, by reason—by means of His saving Word. And He prevailed, the Victor.

So I wholeheartedly offer Him my thanks for His triumph. And I give Him a shout of praise for slaying that rebellious enemy of my old self, buried in baptism.

Enemy? Yes, that’s the unfortunate news. But “once was” is the great Good News! For He has, indeed, triumphed over this enemy.

Although, we must remember this urgent truth: there are many yet to be won over. But each soul won by Christ is another He looks upon in triumph—with a love that endures forever.


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