Summary: When your pastor tells you that you are forgiven of your sins, a big upset has just taken place...
7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
How do you overcome something that is bigger and stronger than you? At times in life you’ll run up against someone or something that is bigger or stronger or smarter than you, and it looks like you’ll probably lose. Have you ever been the underdog before? God tells us here that behind the scenes of life, there's one problem that seems insurmountable, and that problem is the Devil. He’s pictured here as a prosecuting attorney, and his case against you is unbeatable. It says here that he accuses you before God day and night. The word Satan actually means “accuser.”
There’s no way you can beat him. He’s been watching you since the day you’ve been born. He has a perfectly organized record of all of your sins – the big sins and the small sins. The sins that you’re totally ashamed of, and the sins that you’re not even aware that you committed. He has all of them on video, he has witnesses ready to come forward to testify against you. He has an incredible amount of experience in the courtroom, and you have none. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into as you walk into the courtroom. How in the world are you going to get out of this one? You are the underdog.
There is a way to overcome all of this. Verse 11: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.” You walk into the courtroom, and in the face of the best lawyer in the history of the world, , you can say, “I trust in the blood of Jesus Christ.” What? The Devil says. “I trust in the blood of Jesus Christ,” you say. And your case is dismissed. You see, the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies you from all sin. The blood of Jesus makes you holy in the eyes of God. And before the Devil even has a chance to complain, or to appeal God’s ruling, he is kicked out of heaven: “For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. Therefore, rejoice in heavens, and you who dwell in them.”
There is great rejoicing in heaven, when you place your faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. This is the behind scenes look at the forgiveness of sins. It’s not just a simple pronouncement that a pastor makes after you recite some words that talk about how sorry you are. It's way more than that. Behind the scenes, something much bigger, is going on. A huge upset is taking place. You, a sinful human being, are overcoming the accusations of the Devil. How is that possible? You did it, by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of your testimony.
We pray, Thank you Jesus, for shedding your blood for us. Help us to put our faith in your blood, to rejoice in our forgiveness, and to share our forgiveness with others. Amen.