If Jesus has won the victory over sin, suffering, and death, why is it that we still sin, suffer, and die? To understand this seeming contradiction, we must recognize the“already, but not yet ”tension of the gospel.
On the one hand, God ’s kingdom has already come in the person of Jesus. As the incarnate God-man, He died on the cross so that through His death and resurrection He might destroy the devil (Hebrews 2:14).
On the other hand, the perfect kingdom toward which He pointed awaits His personal return to earth. We experience the tension of living between the“already, but not yet”aspects of God’s kingdom.
Luke 10 illustrates this tension. Upon returning from preaching, the disciples were jubilant.“Even the demons are subject to us in Your name,”they told Jesus (Luke 10:17). He replied that He had seen Satan“ fall like lightning from heaven” (v.18). He also assured them that nothing would hurt them (v.19). Yet many of them suffered and died as martyrs, and evil is still rampant today.
Even so, we can face whatever comes, for someday we’ll enter fully into the victory Jesus has won. In the meantime, we can take comfort in knowing that nothing shall separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39).
God’s kingdom has come in Jesus the king,
He died and He rose, redemption to bring;
Yet still we await the glorious day
When Satan and sin no longer hold sway. —D. De Haan
Satan may win some battles, but he has already lost the war.