“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” — John 17:15
Jesus prayed these words right before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane. That means it was immediately after He prayed these words He took part in the Father’s answer to this prayer. The Father and the Son let us stay in the world and yet remain protected from this world’s prince.
The Evil One was heedless of the long-standing curse against him as he unhinged his serpent jaws and struck at Jesus with fangs: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he will bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Jesus brought down his foot on the serpent’s open mouth, bearing the deadly venom and smashing the devil’s head. By His death He forgave our sins, lifted our curse by becoming a curse for us, and rescued us from the Evil One.
O Jesus, as You once ransomed us, thereby rescuing us from the devil,
so continue to deliver us from all harm. Amen.
“God in pity saw man fallen,
Shamed and sunk in misery,
When he fell on death by tasting
Fruit of the forbidden tree;
Then another tree was chosen
Which the world from death should free.
Thus the scheme of our salvation
Was of old in order laid,
That the manifold deceiver’s
Art by art might be outweighed,
And the lure the foe put forward
Into means of healing made.
Therefore when the appointed fullness
Of the holy time was come,
He was sent, who maketh all things,
Forth from God’s eternal home;
Thus he came to earth, incarnate,
Offspring of a maiden’s womb.
Thou alone wast counted worthy
This world’s ransom to uphold;
For a shipwrecked race preparing
Harbour, like the Ark of old;
With the sacred Blood anointed
From the smitten Lamb that rolled.”
(Good Friday Exeter Book, “Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle”,
stanzas 2–4, 10)