In December 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, the German army launched an attack on Bastogne, France. They pinned down the 101st Airborne Division by surrounding the city with a far larger force. Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe commanded the 101st and its attached troops.
On December 22, the Germans demanded that the 101st surrender or face annihilation. McAuliffe, who was known for his refusal to use coarse language, sent the German’s a one-word reply, NUTS!McAuliffe’s response confused the Germans were confused. Their threatened annihilation never happened, although over the next three days they did attempt assaults on the city. On December 26, the U.S. 4th Armored Division arrived and drove the Germans off.
A word for Satan
When Satan attacks, we Christians have another word to use to reject his demands for surrender.
Yes, his forces are incomparably greater than our own. Yes, he has us surrounded. Yes, he correctly claims that we offer God no reason to come to our defense.
But one word drives him away. One word testifies to him that we are the victors in this conflict. One word announces that the war against Satan is won. One word proclaims that he has no claim to us. We are not his prisoners. He is our defeated foe.
One little word
Martin Luther’s great Reformation hymn proclaims:
Though devils all the world should fill All eager to devour us
We tremble not we fear no ill, They shall not overpower us.
This world's prince may still Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none. He's judged the deed is done.
One little word can fell him.
That one little, but infinitely-powerful word, is tetelestai. That’s the Greek word for “It is finished!”
Telestai! This was Jesus’ shout of victory immediately before he yielded his soul into his Father’s hands.
Telestai! Jesus shouted. I have completed my ministry. I have won the war. I have freed souls from sin, from eternal death, from Satan’s slavery. I have paid their debt in full.
Never surrender to Satan. Give him your defiant answer. Telestai!