This week’s question, again, comes in the form of an email. A college student needed a little help for a class. Here’s the question:
I’m doing a annotated bibliography for a comp class over King Arthur and I need to kind of interview someone about good and evil.
Could you describe Jesus’ quest for good to overcome evil? Who were some people he used? And of course in the end Jesus wins the battle but could you describe, not in great detail, but how he does it?
Whoah. Now THAT’s a good question!!!!!!!
Here’s how I responded:
Wow. You have asked some incredibly important and deep questions! I will do the best I can. I hope my answer doesn’t bore you too much. . . but I honestly believe – biblically – that your questions all have the same answer.
Jesus’ quest for good to overcome evil was – without a doubt – to get to the cross, die on the cross, and be raised from the dead. Evil entered the world when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. Evil was overcome when Jesus took on the punishment mankind deserved for their sin. The main consequence for evil – death – was overcome when Jesus rose from the grave.
1 Corinthians 15:21-28 says:
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. 24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
Romans 5:12ff says:
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. . . Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.”
This is demonstrated again in Revelation 5:9-10 when we get a picture of what will be sung in heaven by those who ‘overcame’ evil by their faith in Jesus:
9 And they sang a new song with these words:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 And you have caused them to become
a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth.”
This also sheds light on the last question you asked about how Jesus wins the battle. It’s the same thing: Jesus was slaughtered and by His blood ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation (Rev. 5:9).
As a matter of fact, it was God’s plan from the start. Revelation 13:8
says that those in heaven have had their names written in a book called the ‘Book of Life of the Lamb that was Slain’ before the foundation of the world. Why is that significant? Simply because it lets us know that God’s plan to overcome evil and and its eventual accomplishment was by the ‘Lamb that was Slain’ – we know as Jesus.
So, biblically, I believe evil is sin. I believe all humans sin (Romans 3:23
). I believe the only way this evil can be overcome is through the ‘good’ love of Jesus. Who are some of the people He used? There’s only One – Himself.
John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Paul even says it is of first and of utmost importance: “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
Think about that: Paul had A LOT to say about A LOT of stuff. Especially in regard to good and evil. For him, what was most important, was none other than the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus, Himself, overcame evil with good by going to the cross on behalf of sinful mankind. He has already won the battle by taking away Satan’s main weapon: unforgiven sin (evil). For those who believe – by faith – in what Jesus accomplished . . . it’s over. Satan has no power, authority, or weapon against them. Good (Jesus through love) has overcome evil (sin and death).
What else would you add to my response? Additional ways you might help this student?