THE LIMITATIONS OF THE ENEMY
“When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:53
For some time, the religious leaders had looked for a way to destroy Jesus Christ. They were jealous of His following and resented His claim to deity. The opposition to Him was mounting, but they were unable to apprehend Him because His time had not yet come. God prevented them from taking Him until His hour had come. Now they were permitted to do what had been ordained of Jesus Christ. The power of darkness would have its turn.
This is a testimony of the sovereign control and authority of God. The most vicious of His enemies and all the power of Satan’s forces could not bring one thing against our Lord except with His permission. They were only able to take Him because He was willing to go. No one could take His life. He gave it freely.
This truth not only encourages us as far as Christ is concerned; it also comforts us about our own lives as believers. Neither man nor demons can touch us without the permission of God. Our heavenly Father has promised us that we will never be tempted above that which we are able, but He will with every temptation provide a way of escape. Just as God has put limits on the boundaries of the seas, He has set limits on the activity of the enemy. Satan does not have free reign to torment as he pleases or go unchecked in his assault on the righteous. He is limited by the all-wise, all-powerful, and all-seeing hand of God. Satan had his moment with Jesus because God had ordained it so; it would serve to fulfill God’s purpose.
We know the death of Christ on the cross was cruel and violent from man’s perspective. It also appeared to be a moment of victory for evil and the powers of darkness. In reality, it was a victory for righteousness. It provided eternal salvation for all who trust in Christ as Savior. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. He conquered death and provided victory over sin and Satan. When the fullness of time was come, when the preordained time arrived for Jesus Christ to offer Himself as the sinless and eternal Lamb – and not a moment earlier – our Savior was apprehended and crucified. God can always be trusted to protect, guide, and provide for His children according to His will.