The Cross of Calvary # 20
The Hour of Triumph
"Having put off from Himself the principalities and the powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15).
This is the tragedy of Calvary described from the divine standpoint.
At the moment when, before the eyes of the world, the prince of the world succeeded in putting to open shame and humiliation the Christ of God, triumphing over His body even unto death;at the same moment before God and the hosts of heaven, principalities and powers were themselves put to shame, and triumphed over by the Christ they crucified.
Paul says they were "displayed", "as a victor displays his captives or trophies in a triumphal procession." The Conqueror, so to speak, "leading them in triumph" before the hosts of heaven. The metaphor used is the same as in 2 Corinthians 2:14, where Christ leads in triumph those who are conquered by His love, and gladly become the trophies of His death.
What a picture is here before us of the victory of Calvary! What a contrast to the scene is now presented! The mocking multitude around the Cross little know of the triumphal procession in the unseen realm, when all the hosts of evil were put to open shame by their Conqueror.
The Apostle, in such a picture, places "the paradox of the crucifixion in the strongest light ... The convict's gibbet (gallows) is the Victor's Car."
The testimony of the Holy Spirit
"The Comforter ... will convict ... of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged" (John 16:7-11).
On the eve of His Cross and passion, the Lord told His disciples of the coming of the Spirit of truth to dwell in them, to bear witness to Him, and glorify Him.
Before the Cross, the Lord had said, "now is the prince of this world cast out", but after His death and resurrection, the testimony of the Spirit would be, "the prince of this world hath been judged."
The Son of God accomplished the victory over the powers of hell upon the Cross of Calvary, and the Holy Spirit is given to convince the world of the victory, and bear witness to the work of the Son of God.
Yet how few of the children of God realize that, through the death on Calvary, the adversary of their souls is a conquered foe! How few know how to meet the wiles of the evil one, and yet fewer how to attack him in aggressive warfare, and participate in the triumphs of the Cross!
The Blood of the Lamb
"They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death" (Revelation 12:11).
In this chapter of the Apocalypse, the veil is drawn aside for a moment to show the conflict in the unseen world.
Whether prophetically it speaks of some special time in the future, is immaterial for us now to consider. It is at least clear, that just as there was a final conflict on the Cross between the Prince of life and the prince of darkness, when the latter was cast down from his place of authority over all who would trust in the crucified One, so there will be a final conflict in the heavens, when the hosts of the Lord will come forth to cast the dragon and his angels down to the earth, whence they will finally go into the pit, and then into the lake of fire.
But the dragon and his angels are still at large. Though the principalities and powers were conquered on the Cross of Calvary, there is an interval between that glorious triumph,and the time of their final casting down - an interval during which each redeemed soul must appropriate the victory of Calvary,and individually overcome the conquered foe, and thus win the crown with those overcomers who will share the Victor's Throne.
In this unveiling of the final conflict in the heavens, we are shown the threefold secret of victory, and the way in which each overcomer triumphs over the foe.
"They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb." This takes us back to Calvary and the sufferings of the Christ. These overcomers had manifestly been taught by the Holy Spirit the victory of the Cross; the blood - or death - of the Lamb was, therefore, the one weapon they used against the foe.
This was accompanied by "the word of their testimony" - a fearless confession of Christ, and "they loved not their life even unto death." They not only wielded the power of the Cross for victory over the evil one, but they had drunk in the spirit of Him Who died, and consequently lived the crucified life, triumphing over the prince of darkness through the Spirit of their Lord.
The Cross is the way of victory for all the children of God. United to the Lord in His death, they share His risen life, and are seated with Him in the heavenlies, "far above all" the principalities and powers of hell.
(continued with # 21)