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Maundy Thursday

“Then after [Judas] had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’… So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him’” — John 13:27, 30–31

The Evil One thought his plot was going perfectly. He did not have any demons eavesdropping when Jesus said, not once, but three times, “The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death” (Matthew 20:18, 16:21, 17:22–23). Jesus said, “I must die.” Did it not strike the devil that, in spite of his evil intentions, when he said, “Jesus must die” he was really confessing God’s will and not his own?

“But deliver us from the Evil One,” we pray. And with great regularity our heavenly Father begins answering that prayer by letting the devil go right on doing what he’s doing and telling him to do it quickly. We prayed, “Thy will be done” back in the Third Petition. We shouldn’t expect to see any other will being done when we get to the Seventh.

And what is Jesus doing while the Evil One stirs up the city, rouses the chief priests, marshals the mob? Jesus reclines at table with his disciples, promises the Holy Spirit (John 14:16), says that He has overcome the world

(John 16:33). He speaks not of His coming death, but of His coming glorification. He sings a hymn (Mark 14:26) and prays (John 17).

In short, Jesus shows us the repose of faith. We need not fear the Evil One. Jesus wasn’t afraid of him, and He hadn’t even defeated him yet. How much more can we rest secure, reclining at table, eating the Holy Supper, singing hymns, praying, now that the Father has delivered us from the Evil One! So let the devil rave. He’ll soon find he’s only positioned his head more vulnerably on the crushing block.

Heavenly Father, make us faithful recipients of Your Son’s body and blood. Give us peace and confidence as the devil schemes, and deliver us from the Evil One. Amen.

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