“He defeated the rulers and powers of the spiritual world. With the cross He won the victory over them and led them away, as defeated and powerless prisoners for the whole world to see.” (Colossians 2:15, ERV)
The verse in Colossians 2:15 seems contradictory. It says that Jesus defeated and disarmed His spiritual enemies with the cross. What does this mean? Jesus was killed there! So, didn’t the cross prove that Satan was stronger than Jesus? No, it did not. As so often in the Bible, God took the evil intents of Satan and turned them around for good.
In order to understand this, let’s also read the preceding verses: “Because we broke God’s laws, we owed a debt … But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross.” Satan had a claim on us humans because we had chosen to serve him instead of God, and the wages of that disobedience is death — as the Lord told man beforehand. But Jesus took this debt upon Himself, died in our place and so redeemed us from the power of Satan.
His death was no defeat, but victory! His love was so strong that He was ready to die for sinners, and Satan could not overcome this love. It was Jesus’ mission to free sinners from the power of sin, and therefore His atoning death was the climax of His salvation work. The cross is the open display of Jesus’ victory.
Do you know more examples where God used something bad to bring about something good?