They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
12 Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!” Revelation 12:11-12
That’s enough for me. That’s enough for you.
I recently finished a biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower and it described the invasions of Normandy. The bloodiest few hours of the war. At the end of D-Day, at the end of that one day, in one sense, really nothing had changed. The vast majority of the continent of Europe was still as it had been the day before, under the power of the swastika. Evil reigned through the whole continent. There was only this one little plot of ground, a few feet of sand on an obscure stretch of beach in one lonely country, that was not under the domination of the enemy. But that one tiny stretch of land, that one tiny little beach, that was enough.
The truth is, at the end of that one day, everything was changed because now there was an opening, just a crack — a tiny little crack at first. But it would get a little larger the next day, and a little larger the day after that, and a little larger the week after that. And the forces would get stronger every day.
There still was a lot of fighting to do and a lot of suffering and a lot of dying. But from that day on it was just a matter of time. Then the day came when Paris was liberated. And then the day came when all of France was liberated. Then the days came when the concentration camps were overrun and prisoners got set free.
Then the day came when Hitler destroyed himself in the bunker. And judgment came to that particular bastion of evil as it always does, as it always will, and then came V-E Day, victory. And then victory in the Pacific and the soldiers could come home. The war was over, and the enemy was defeated.
But the truth was that really victory was all sealed on D-Day. It just took a while for the battle raged for a season. But after D-Day, V-E Day, victory, that was just a matter of time. John says this earth has fallen under a dark power, and then one day a woman gave birth to a son, a male child, who was to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.
He taught about, and he lives in a kingdom. He lived a kind of life that every son of Adam and every daughter of Eve had always dreamed of but hardly ever hope for. Then one day, at a cost that none of us will ever fully understand, he took upon himself, on the cross, all the brokenness, all the suffering of D-Day, and all the suffering and all the sin and pain of every other day of the history of the human race since the Fall.
At the end of the Sabbath day, when his friends went to care for his body, the stone was gone. And in one sense, nothing had changed. Pilate and the chief priests were still in charge. Caesar still reigned in Rome. He didn’t even know the name of this obscure Messiah in some remote country.
The Herods and the Neros and the Hitlers would come and go, and pain and suffering and death go on today as they went on then, and nobody knew at first except a couple of women. Nobody knew it, but that was D-Day.
But now there was an opening, and the truth is, friends, every time you resist sin, every time you proclaim the Gospel, every time you give a portion of your resources for the spread of the kingdom, every time you offer a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name to the poor, that opening gets a little larger, and the darkness gets pushed back a little more, and the light gets a little stronger.
That’s why we exist as a church. That’s why we are called to struggle and pray and work and suffer and labor because one day liberation will come, make no mistake.
There will be a lot of fighting and a lot of suffering and a lot of dying, but D-Day already happened when hardly anybody was looking. And at the end of that one day, everything was changed, and now it’s just a matter of time.
So, John says, “Hang on. The Devil is living on borrowed time.”