READ: 2 Samuel 1-3, Psalm 91, Matthew 2 , Colossians 2
On a day that we remember fools, it is good to note just who the cross shames. Colossians 2 reminds us that the cross was indeed a public spectacle, a public triumph over principalities and powers. What seemed to be the humiliation of God was in fact His ultimate victory. Oh, the horror of being Satan! Think of the hate and rebellion that led him to scheme and connive to embarrass Jesus in the public view. Think of the organizational energy that seethed and glowered and rose in expectation as Jesus stumbled to Golgotha. Think of the surge of evil joy that rose in demonic hearts as Jesus writhed naked, tortured for all to see.
Think of the bolt of terror that flashed across the devil’s mind as the earth shakes and he senses that something is wrong (but can’t quite figure out what). And then in quick succession Jesus marches into hell, seizes the keys of death, bursts out of the tomb, ascends to the Father, unleashes the Spirit, and the devil realizes it is he who has been mocked, exposed, revealed, not only as a fraud but also as incredibly stupid. How it must irk the devil (who prides himself on his intellect) to realize he was so publicly outwitted and humiliated.
Out his public shame, furious at his impotency to thwart the plan of God, frantic in the knowledge he has lost and soon will be destroyed, the enemy of our souls frantically looks for who he can drag into the pit with him. Sure, our world is marred by evil and tragedy, and the attacks of evil seem overwhelming – but we must understand that the ferocity of the attack is indicative of a mortally wounded foe. The devil is drowning, and he is wildly clutching whoever he can to drown with him. We would be fools to expose ourselves cavalierly to the last scratching of Satan. He has one breath left and it is running out.
Understanding that Jesus has made a public spectacle of the devil gives us the patience to endure his last, desperate assault. We know his time is limited, so when he hurls himself at our bodies, souls, and spirit, we simply take shelter in the secret place of the Almighty, allow God’s angels to take charge over us and bear us up, revel in the reality that we are answered, accompanied, delivered, honored, satisfied, and saved (Psalm 91:15).
A proper understanding of the public spectacle of the cross helps us remember that Satan’s humiliation spurs him to one last fanatic attack. This attack is dangerous as a dying foe is the most desperate, but by the same token a dying attack cannot last forever. The wise follower of Jesus hunkers down in the shadow of the Almighty, presses into the storm behind the divine shield accompanied by angel hosts, and advances to celebrate the victory of Jesus. It is the devil who is the Easter fool.