This was one of those pieces of writing that was almost begging to be put into words. It is my attempt to map the metanarrative of Satan/the devil as Christians believe.
In the beginning there was God. This grand being decided to create beings who were like himself, only smaller and with limited powers. God and these beings inhabited a place known as heaven. God acts as the king of heaven, sitting on a throne while these beings known as angels serve and worship him. There appeared to be some kind of rank and order to the angels, some having the title of archangel. One of these beings went by the name Lucifer, which means light-bearer.
Lucifer was a powerful and charismatic angel who won the affection of many with his ability to create wonderful music. Uplifted in pride by the adoration received, he decided to usurp the authority of God. Lucifer achieved quite a following in his endeavour, a third of the entire population of angels supported his charge for the throne. God, however, was not impressed. In his fury he banished Lucifer and the rebel angels from his kingdom, casting them into a nether region.
Nothing is known about this region, or what Lucifer and the rebel angels did in this place. The only thing we do know is that he next made an appearance in the region of planet Earth in the guise of a snake. God had created this planet, as well as the entire universe, and had just completed his final masterpiece, human beings. He made these creatures to inhabit and enjoy the planet, but especially to rule over the animal kingdom. God gave the man and the woman free reign over the planet, with one condition: they were not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. This was a poisonous tree, he said – it would lead to their deaths. You see, the man Adam and the woman Eve were created immortal.
Lucifer, appearing as the snake, tempted Eve to eat the fruit, suggesting that God was not speaking the entire truth. Eve had always admired the fruit, but knew it was off limits. But, she thought, maybe the snake is right. So she took a bite, and gave the fruit to Adam, who also devoured it. All of a sudden, the two became conscious of being naked, and went in hiding. God comes looking for them, but they were too ashamed to make an appearance. When he finds Adam, he knows what had happened, and angrily remarks, ‘Who told you to eat the forbidden fruit?’ ‘Eve gave it to me’. Eve, in turn, blames the snake. ‘The two of you are now banished from this paradise, and you will now suffer and die. As for you, snake, you will now crawl and eat dirt.’
So Adam and Eve were no longer immortal. They procreated for many generations before eventually passing away, and in the process of time the planet was filled with a mortal humanity. For thousands of years very little was said of Lucifer and the fallen angels. Yet God had a plan to forever do away with Lucifer and his servants. He decided to actually inhabit the planet in the form of a man. Lucifer, cunning as he was, attempted to persuade Jesus to serve him instead of God. Yet Jesus was not gullible like the original man; being God, he could in no way deny himself. So Lucifer and his army of servants decided to inhabit humans themselves. The problem was, Jesus would come along and cast them out!
Infuriated, Lucifer decided to scheme against God and persuade the authorities to kill Jesus. In a grand orchestration, the Jewish priesthood convinced the Roman authorities that Jesus was a threat to security and deserved to be executed. Little did Lucifer know that this was the plan of God all along; Lucifer was merely an actor in God’s play. Jesus was crucified, but after three days he rose from the grave. In a gesture of benevolence to humanity, God decided to take on the punishment that Adam and Eve received for disobedience by allowing Jesus to die. Then he Demonstrated his power over Lucifer by bringing him back to life.
Lucifer was dejected and exhausted, yet still determined to do all in his power to fight against God’s authority. Along with his army, he has been the grand influence behind all manner of evil in the midst of humanity, particularly inspiring hatred and indifference towards God. Yet God is biding his time, for he had destined an ultimate end to Lucifer, his army, and all those who have failed to acknowledge his authority, especially his benevolent act of crucifying Jesus. A horrific and torturous existence awaits every rebellious creature, one in which suffering is felt at every moment for eternity.
Lucifer knows his destiny, but will fight on. For ultimately, he really was only created for this purpose, and this is his role. He has no ultimate autonomy; he is like a wound-up toy which wanders in many different directions, and requires continual winding. Ultimately, the toy will be burned.
By Steven Wanderlust
The Grand Myth ofLucifer