By Drew Zuverink
"He disarmed (or unclothed) the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross."
The goal of crucifixion was not just to kill someone, it was to humiliate them. In order to do this the Romans made crucifixion into a spectacle. That's why victims were usually displayed somewhere public like a crossroad, a theater, or in Jesus' case, on high ground. On top of that, victims would also be crucified naked. It's sad to think about but contrary to most artistic depictions, Jesus was crucified in the nude.
How overjoyed the evil spirits must have been by this! How deeply they must have savored every second of Jesus' humiliation. Here was their greatest enemy, the Son of God displayed high on a hill, slowly dying for everyone to see. With child like glee and evil grins they must have shouted, "victory is ours!" The heavenly battle would finally end. Their rebellion had succeeded and the world would be theirs to torment forever because they had just killed God. At least that's what they thought...
IF THEY ONLY KNEW
Oh the irony! If the evil spirits only knew that while Jesus was being stripped of his clothes, he was stripping them of all their power. If they only knew that while they were making a spectacle out of Jesus, he was making a spectacle out of them. And if they only knew that their master plan of killing Jesus would bring about their utter defeat, they would never have done it.
How amazing it must have felt for Jesus to see the looks on their faces when they realized what they had done. How shocked, how embarrassed, how afraid they must have looked. Jesus not only defeated his spiritual enemies, he humiliated them. It's as if he wants to strip them naked and hang them up for the world to look at them and say, "You idiots. You actually thought you could stop the redemptive plan of God? How foolish he has made you look."
Fellow believers, it is embarrassing that the evil spirits believed they could successfully defeat God. That's right, God! No one can stand in God's way, and if someone tries, it won't be a close fight. Our enemies might be powerful compared to us but they are nothing to God. Through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, he took away every accusation our enemies could bring against us. If they say to God, "They have lied again," God will say, "I paid for that." If they say, "There they go lusting again," God will say, "I paid for that too." However our enemies try say, "Your beloved people have broken your law, there must be justice!" God will say, "Indeed there must! My Son has died for all of it and their debts have been paid in full."
"If he is for us, who can be against us? Who will bring a charge against God's elect?" Romans 8:31 & 33.