The battle is over. Satan has lost! It is time for him to leave the scene for 1,000 years.
I was thinking about the similarities and differences between Jesus’ grave and the bottomless pit Satan will occupy. I found more differences than similarities, which is probably no surprise.
In regard to similarities I found two distinct ones. Both were bound before being placed in their respective “holding cells.” Jesus was anointed and wrapped in linen strips for His burial. Satan is wrapped in Heavenly chains brought down and applied by an angel. Also, the entrances to both “receptacles” were sealed. Jesus tomb was sealed by Roman soldiers in an effort to make sure His followers didn’t sneak in and steal His body away. The stone and seal were to keep men out but it didn’t seal Him in. The bottomless pit was “shut” and “sealed” over Satan by an angel. This will to keep him inside.
For the differences I chose three areas. The first is that there was an escape for Jesus but not for Satan. Jesus rose from the grave and when He did the angels rolled the stone away. Satan has NO ONE who wants to let him out. Jesus didn’t NEED the stone to be moved for Him to come out but it was moved so we could go in and see the evidence of the empty tomb. Satan won’t get out until GOD says it is time. There is also a difference in purpose and behavior between how Jesus emerged and how Satan will. When Jesus left His grave He had a new purpose. He was onto the next phase of God’s plan. He provided confirmation, comfort, and direction for the next part of the disciple’s journey and the birthplace of the church. Satan will come out just as twisted as he went in. He will come out with deceit still reining in his heart and try and take as many people with him as possible. Another big difference is that Jesus’ return from the grave is permanent. He will never face death again. Satan’s release is “for a little while” (verse 3b) and then he is thrown back into the pit to suffer for eternity. I wonder how long that “little while” is going to be in human terms. The final difference is what the confinement reason. Jesus’ “confinement” was a resting place for His body while His spirit did battle. His rest was a “reward” for a job well done. Satan’s confinement will be a punishment pure and simple. He will have a “short” reprieve but then he will return to the same punishment as before, only there will be no escape the next time.
So let’s turn our attention to what will be going on while Satan is locked up and not being a problem anymore. Jesus will be ruling here on earth! I’m curious if that 1,000 years is in our time or God’s time. It could honestly be either but I’m leaning towards our calendar as that is a pretty long time in man’s span.
During this time there will be both spiritual and physical rulers. We are told the only ones who are raised back to life at this time are the one who endured the tribulation and refused to join Satan’s team. They will receive back physical bodies at this point and reign with Christ during this thousand year period. I believe those who were seated on the thrones and “to whom the authority to judge was committed” (verse 4b) will be doing so in spirit instead of fleshly bodies. I don’t know this for certain but as no other dead have been raised yet it sounds appropriate to me.
I’m curious about those who they will be placed in authority over. During the battle of Armageddon, all those involved were killed but that is probably not the total of the earth’s population. There are the saints who made it through and the “civilians” who were not part of the battle remaining. Those “civilians” were probably in distant places. Who knows how many will remain after the hail and earthquake bowl has been poured out. Are these worldwide judgements or localized? The answer to that question would lead to estimates of how many people physically enter the earthly rei
gn of Jesus. I guess we will find the answer to that one when the time comes. Could it be possible too that those who were taken in the rapture still alive will join those who remain on earth? Another question we will have to wait and see for the answer.
Father God, I would love to be one of those who get to spend 1,000 years learning at Jesus’ feet. I don’t know if that is part of Your plan for me though. I will be satisfied with whatever You have for my life. ALL Your plans are perfect!
There is SO much I don’t understand or know but I trust You with it anyway. I know You have EVERYTHING in Your hands and can move men’s hearts to make exactly what You want to come to pass. I’m THRILLED to see that Satan will be out of the way for a while. I pray for all those who will be listening to him after he is set free. They too will be given the opportunity to make the choice between “life” and “death.” Thank You for the choice of life! Without Your love and Jesus’ work that choice wouldn’t be available to any of us.