During my days in Teen Challenge, I loved to write. It was very healing in the way it helped me process a lot that I was dealing with. My writing would take the form of poems, Bible Studies in essay format – and short stories. The short stories were a throwback to my late primary, early secondary school days. They were always about themes that caught my imagination.
The following is one such story. I wrote it in early 1998, I still have the booklet I made up for it. I had not read “The Screwtape Letters” by CS Lewis at the time, and “Despicable Me” was not a thing. (These thoughts will be obvious if you know both references). I have not edited the original story, as I wanted to reproduce it as it was written.
I hope you enjoy.
It is Finished!
“Here boss, that’s it, we’ve got Jesus on the cross[i]. Your plan is working out, soon you will have the Almighty right where you want Him.” said the minion as he came rushing into satan’s office.
“You think I don’t know that. I organized it. I’ll rest when He is dead, not until then. Now sit down, shut up and watch it on the monitor.” replied Satan.
He was frustrated, from the moment Jesus was born, Satan knew that he would have to tread very carefully with Him. Jesus knew what it was to be with God[ii], but still Satan was sure he could tempt Him, making Him fall from gracej. After all he had done it with Adam. Satan himself once sat in the heavenly realms with God[iii]. Sure, he was only an angel, but he had still been there. Though Jesus was the Son[iv], Satan was sure that he could tempt Him. However, when he had faced Jesus in the desert[v] still Jesus had not succumbed to his charms. Satan knew he was going to have to plan long and hard to resolve his problem.
Everything he had worked for since his eviction from the realms[vi] depended on it. This was the result, he just did not know where the inspiration for the crucifixion had come from, but it was a masterpiece. The events leading up to it could not have gone any better. How the people had mocked[vii] and ridiculed their Messiah! Beating Him up until He was unrecognisable as a human, never mind the Son of God. The Population could not recognise the Almighty when He was amongst them anyway. Satan knew once he had the Son out of the way, taking over the souls and minds of the Population would be easy. He already had most of them anyway. Those he did not have, the ones closest to the Son, he used without them realising it. He loved the way he had patronised Jesus through Peter[viii], and to use that Judas[ix] fellow to betray Jesus, well even Satan did not like him.
This was what he had been planning since the eviction. Dreaming of the moment he humiliated the Almighty. It was this thought that kept him going.
“This will teach Him to throw me out of the realms!” muttered Satan, as he watched the Son on the Cross.
Jesus cried out, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.[x]”
The first traces of a smile could be seen on Satan’s lips, “Look at Him, goody-two-
shoes right to the end.” he said, as he continued to watch events unfold on the monitor.
(He liked this particular invention, and someday he intended to put it to really bad use by influencing people with it. He dreamt of one in every home, with images supplied by him being watched on it. Yes, this box had tremendous potential.)
Satan liked the way that the two robbers[xi] were crucified either side of Jesus. He thought that was a nice touch. “Right fitting place for the Son,” he said, “in amongst the robbers and thieves at his death.”
He did not pay any attention to the fact that one of them had recognized Jesus as the Son of God, and that Jesus told him that he would be with Him in Paradise that very day. If Satan had noticed this, then maybe he would have got worried. Instead, his smile turned into a huge grin as the Son started looking more and more weary on the cross.
He knew his time was fast approaching. His minions were all firing questions at him about what they were going to do when they had won, but, Satan just told them to shut up. He had not quite decided how to celebrate.
Switching his attention back to the monitor, the people were mocking Jesus, telling Him to come down from the cross[xii] if He was the Son. Satan started rubbing his hands and gloating over Jesus, saying, “Look at Him, pathetic isn’t He? The guy just doesn’t realise it has all been for nothing. Oh, I can actually taste the victory now.”
Then, darkness came upon the land[xiii], “Oh! Oh!” said Satan, mockingly, “Looks like I’ve upset the Almighty. What a shame!” Of course, at this the minions all laughed. They knew they had better or Satan would become angry with them.
But one, called Deelze, said, “Boss, I don’t like this, it’s all going a bit too smoothly!”
“How dare you! You ungrateful little twerp. Of course, it’s going smoothly, I organized it. Why is it, just as I get some satisfaction at a job well done, one of you idiots try to go and spoil it?” roared Satan.
At this, he kicked Deelze in the behind so hard that he flew right across the office. “If you open your mouth again I will tear your tongue out!” he said.
“Boss, boss, look the Son is saying something.” Whispered one of the minions, sheepishly.
Satan turned back to the monitor and saw Jesus telling John to look after his mother, Mary.[xiv]
“Aw, isn’t that nice?” sneered Satan, instantly forgetting what Deelze had just said. “He’s still thinking of his earthly mother. I think I’ll have her as my first victim. Deelze, think up something really dramatic for her. I’ll use it to make myself known to the Population. I’ve convinced them for long enough that I don’t exist. It’s about time they really got to know me.”
“Yes, o mighty one.” Said Deelze, just glad to be back in Satan’s good books, for he knew his wrath could, and usually did, result in a painful and violent death.
Back at Calvary, Jesus had just said, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?”[xv]
At this Satan burst out laughing, “Ha! Ha! Even the Almighty has given up on Him. He must feel so alone up there. Yes, I can taste the victory now. I’ve won! I’ve won!”
“IT IS FINISHED!”[xvi]
“What was that? What did He say?” roared Satan.
The minions all looked at each other in astonishment. “What did He say?” Satan asked, quietly this time.
Deelze looked up and said, “Boss, He said, “It is finished!’
“I know that, you imbecile. But what did He mean? I’ve won! So what did He mean?” “You’ve won, boss, He’s dead.” Said Deelze, hopefully.
“Yes I have, haven’t I?” said Satan, unconvincingly.
As he looked back to the monitor, he saw a guard piercing the Son in the side with a spear, to make sure that He was dead. Satan could se a mixture of blood and water come out of the wound.[xvii]
“What is going on?” he asked. The sight of this blood and water pouring out of the Son’s side really bothered him, but he did know why. He had a feeling that this had some important significance, but he could not figure it out.
“The lot of you except Deelze, get out of here. Now!” Satan shouted.
At this they all ran out. But Deelze sat there, looking worried as Satan looked at him reassuringly, and said, “Right Deelze we have a lot of work to do. You know what the Son said about rising up after three days, so I want you and some of the boys to go out and start planting thoughts. I want the chief priests and the Pharisees to go to Pontius Pilate and get him to seal the tomb that they put the Son into.”[xviii]
What was that?” asked Satan, as the ground started shaking violently[xix], “Oh, it’s just the Almighty getting angry because He knows that I’ve won, I hope.
It’s too late for Him now. But I don’t want any of those disciples stealing the Son’s body. So get to work! If His body did get stolen it could cause some real bother. I want whichever tomb He is in sealed and a guard put on it night and day.”
It all went as Satan had planned. The chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate, he ordered the tomb to be sealed and guarded night and day.[xx]
For the next couple of days, Satan just could not rest. He shouted at and bullied his minions, and ordered them to keep a watch on the disciples of Jesus.
On the third day after the Crucifixion, Satan was sitting anxiously in his office; he could not bear to turn his monitor on. For the past couple of days, Jesus’ last words had haunted him.
“It is finished!”
What did He mean? Satan just could not understand it. That sense of foreboding had returned, only now it was about a hundred times worse.
“What could be wrong? Everything went according to my plan. He was humiliated and beaten! He was whipped and nailed to the cross. He died! I’ve won! So why do I feel like I have lost?” This question and many more besides kept racing through his mind.
Then it happened. One of his minions came rushing in, “Boss, boss, it’s happened, it has happened!”
“Calm down, you fool! What has happened?” asked Satan.
“He’s gone!” replied the minion.
“What do you mean “He’s gone”? Did the disciples take Him?” asked Satan, hopefully.
“No boss. The seal was intact, they opened the tomb, but He wasn’t there. His grave clothes were but He wasn’t. HE IS RISEN!”[xxi]
“Nooooooo!” cried Satan, in anguish. All of a sudden he knew what the Son meant when He said, “It is finished!” He knew that Jesus was talking about the Almighty’s plan to save the Population. He knew Jesus was talking about the war between the Almighty and Satan. He knew that the Son was talking about saving the Population from an eternity in hell. He knew Jesus had ripped down the veil and made the way for the Population to see God properly. He knew he was finished. The Son had just destroyed his greatest weapon. Death! And the fear of it.[xxii] Now the Population would see that Resurrection was possible. Now Satan could not even hold the fear of death over those who believed in the Son.
“No way!” he cried, “If He thinks that I am going to take this lying down, He has got another think coming. If I am doomed to spend eternity in hell, then so are as many of the Population as I can take with me. I’ll blind them to His Truth. I’ll deceive them[xxiii]. I’ll tempt them. As long as I can stop them from believing, I can still use my weapon. I’ll…! “
“How could this have happened? It was my plan. How? How? How?”
Deelze just sat there with an “I told you so!” look on his face.
“Deelze! Get my coat! We have work to do! Tell those idiots that serve me to be on the lookout for any weak people. Anyone I can tempt. The Almighty may have won the war through His Son, but I can still win a few battles before Judgement Call[xxiv]. I want them, especially, to go to believers. Tempt them. Provoke them. Sow seeds of doubt. I WANT THEM BACK! That guy Saul, the one from Tarsus, I want him prepared. Shortly he will be my main man out there, persecuting the followers of Jesus. I want revenge NOW! Come on!”
So from that day to this Satan, and his minions, the principalities and powers, are always on the look-out for anyone they can tempt, control, deceive or just plain annoy. They are determined to condemn as many of the Population as possible. They have many weapons; some of their main ones being sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.
So be sober, be vigilant, for your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace. [xxv](the God who put His Son on the cross for us; who LET Satan think he was winning, by allowing Satan to think that the cross was his own idea), who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Remember, if Satan comes tempting, accusing, deceiving, or anything, just think of the cross, and how foolish the Almighty made Satan look. Think of the Son’s last words, “IT IS FINISHED!” with these words Satan’s fate was sealed. The war was won and you in Christ are on the victorious side. So, when trials come your way, just stand firm[xxvi] in the promise of the Son that we have victory in the world and all its problems because Jesus Christ has overcome the world for us. [xxvii]
So peace to all of you who are in Christ the Son – AMEN!
© Stuart Patterson 1998
Below are Scripture References for verses that relate to the story.
[i] Matthew 27:32-56;
[ii] John 16:28
[iii] Isaiah 14:12
[iv] Galatians 4:4
[v] Matthew 4:1-11
[vi] Isaiah 14:15
[vii] Matthew 27:27-31
[viii] Matthew 16:22-23
[ix] Matthew 26:14-27
[x] Luke 23:34
[xi] Luke 23:32-43
[xii] Mark 15:30
[xiii] Luke 23:44
[xiv] John 19:26-27
[xv] Matthew 27:46
[xvii] John 19:34
[xviii] Matthew 27:66
[xix] Matthew 27:51
[xx] Matthew 27:65-66
[xxi] Matthew 28:6
[xxii] 1 Corinthians 15:55
[xxiii] 2 Corinthians 4:4
[xxiv] Romans 14:10
[xxv] 1 Peter 5:8
[xxvi] James 5:8
[xxvii] John 16:33
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