Christ’s Victory At Calvary
By Wesley L. Duewel
Christians should rejoice again and again in the glorious triumph of Christ on the cross. Have you realized how total was Christ’s victory at Calvary? It was a victory for us because Jesus took our place, bearing our sin on the cross. He paid the price for our redemption. On the cross He paid it all! Calvary was an eternal victory for whoever wills to receive it (Rev. 22:17).
But for Satan, Christ’s victory at Calvary was a devastating, total, and eternal defeat. At first, Satan thought he had won; that shows how limited his knowledge and understanding are. In reality, the cross destroyed Satan, sin, death, and all of Satan’s kingdom. Let us note the pictorial language the Bible uses to illustrate Satan’s ignominious defeat at Calvary:
At the cross, Jesus drove out Satan, "the prince of this world" (John 12:31-33). Today Satan is a usurper. The cross passed initial judgment on him. His claims were destroyed; his claimed authority was invalidated. His defeat was so complete that he has lost his place and authority. The Greek word ekballo means "to drive out, expel." The cross doomed Satan to ultimate expulsion from our world, though he is still active and desperate in his anger and futility. He is the archon, the ruler of this age only until God enforces the judgment of the cross after Christ’s return.
At the cross, Jesus "disarmed the powers and authorities" (Col. 2:15). The word disarmed is from the Greek apekdyo, a double compound meaning "to put off completely, to undress completely and thus render powerless." At the cross, Christ undressed all demon authorities. It is a picture from the ancient oriental custom of stripping the robes of office from a deposed official. At the cross, the leaders and authorities of Satan’s forces and kingdom were stripped of their authority and honor. They now have no authority to oppose, intimidate, or harass you.
But that is not all; there is even more in this picture. Paul says Christ "made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" (v. 15). This again is an illustration taken from ancient history. When a conquering emperor returned from a great victory, he was often given a triumphal procession. The victor and his army marched through streets lined by cheering thousands. While the musicians played, chariots and soldiers carried the looted treasures of the defeated king, and he and his general or other selected prisoners were led in chains, their shame openly displayed.
The Greek word edeigmatisen means "to make a public exhibition." During the interval between Christ’s death and resurrection, when He announced Satan’s defeat at the cross to the evil spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19), in symbolism Christ marched triumphantly through the spirit prison, with Satan and his demonic rulers chained in inglorious defeat behind Him. He made a public spectacle of their defeat, says Paul, and now every demonic being knows his cause is defeated forever, his satanic lord’s authority stripped from him, and his own doom waiting for the appointed time (Matt. 8:29).
At the cross, Satan and his unclean spirits were destroyed (Heb. 2:14). The word destroy is from the Greek katargeo, which means "to put out of action, to make useless." It is used repeatedly to show how through the death and the return of Christ (parousia), the powers of destruction that threaten man spiritually are put out of action. In First Corinthians 15:24, this includes all dominion of demonic authority and power. In verse 26, death itself will be the last enemy to be rendered useless. All these are "coming to nothing" (1 Cor. 2:6), including Satan himself and his demonic leaders (Heb. 2:14).
As a result of Calvary, the Resurrection, and the Ascension, Christ is enthroned. He is raised "far above all rule and authority, power and dominion ...And God placed all things under His feet..." (Eph. 1:21-22). These terms for heavenly beings may include both the holy angelic beings and the fallen ones, now the demons. Christ is seated at the right hand of God, far above all heavenly beings of whatever rank, and certainly above all fallen spirit beings of whatever rank. Potentially, these fallen beings are "under His feet," for they have already been defeated. But they are bluffing as if they were still undefeated, trying to assert their dominance over us.
These demonic beings know they are defeated and what their end will be; that is why they fear us and our prayer so much. They know we have authority from Jesus. But when you resist them in His name and power, they will not only back away, they will actually flee from you (Jas. 4:7).
In summary, Satan may roar like a raging lion, trying to frighten you, but he is a defeated usurper. He has no right, standing, authority, or legal place in your life.
a. He is being expelled, driven out by Jesus (John 12:31).
b. He is disrobed and disarmed and has been made a public spectacle as a defeated foe in Christ’s triumphal procession. Christ has displayed the disgraced Satan as His prime trophy, revealing to all beings in heaven and hell that Satan has lost (Col. 2:15). The counterfeit roaring lion has been defeated by the true Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ, Son of Man, beloved Son of God (Rev. 5:5).
c. His power is destroyed, and he and all his forces are put out of action as far as any true power is concerned (Heb. 2:14; 1 Cor. 2:6; 1 Cor. 15:24).
d. He and all his demonic cohorts are put under Jesus’ feet potentially and will soon be put there absolutely (Eph. 1:21-22). In fact, he will be actually crushed (syntribo) beneath your feet also (Rom. 16:20). Syntribo means "to break to pieces by crushing" – a total, crushing defeat.
Thus, Jesus says to us, as He said to His disciples, "I have given you authority...to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you" (Luke 10:19). Unworthy though we are, we should humbly but confidently accept this authority, acting upon Christ’s glorious victory at Calvary as we defeat and bind Satan’s power in His name.
– Quoted from the book, Touch The World Through Prayer, by Wesley Duewel. Copyright 1986. Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Dr. Duewel’s books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6751 Ext. 361.