Colossians 2:15

In Colossians 2:15 Paul continues to teach us what Jesus did through His death on the cross – He disarmed our enemies. “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” The greatest powers of the earth at that time – Rome, the greatest governmental power and Judaism, the greatest religious power – conspired together to put the Son of God on the cross. Wright wrote “These powers, angry at his challenge to their sovereignty, stripped him naked, held him up to public contempt, and celebrated a triumph over him.” Here Paul shows us again the paradox of the cross; that the victorious Jesus took the spiritual powers animating these earthly powers and stripped them, held them up to contempt, and publicly triumphed over them.

Jesus won at the Cross. We can only imagine how Satan and every on of his demons attacked Jesus as He hung on the cross on our behalf, as if He were a guilty sinner. Bruce explains “As he was suspended there, bound hand and foot to the wood in apparent weakness, they imagined they had him at their mercy, and flung themselves on him with hostile intent. But, far from suffering their attack without resistance, he grappled with them and mastered them, stripping them of the armor in which they trusted, and held them aloft in his outstretched hands, displaying to the universe their helplessness and his own unvanquished strength.”

Jesus not only won the battle, He won the war and did it for all of eternity. Guzik explains “Paul wrote in another place that if the rulers of this age – by which he meant both the spiritual powers of darkness and their earthly representatives – had known what would happen on the cross, they would have never crucified Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:8). They were defeating themselves and they didn’t even know it.” As Paul writes about Jesus’ triump, he had in mind the Roman victory parade where a conquering general led his defeated captives through the streets in triumph. Jesus didn’t just win, He won for all time and in all ways.

This is big. This is everything in the spiritual domain. Guzik explains “Perhaps Satan, for a moment, thought that he had won at the cross. But Hell’s imagined victory was turned into a defeat that disarmed every spiritual enemy who fights against those living under the light and power of the cross. The public spectacle of defeated demonic spirits makes their defeat all the more humiliating.” And Vaughn continues “Christ, in this picture, is the conquering general; the powers and authorities are the vanquished enemy displayed as the spoils of battle before the entire universe.” Erdman also commented “The death of Christ was not only a pardon; it also manifested might. It not only canceled a debt; it was a glorious triumph.” Jesus was the victor once and for all!

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