May 12, 2022


In the movie the Passion of Christ. Why does the devil react in such a frenzy when Jesus dies on the cross?


 The answer is in Colossians 2:13-15 "And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. [15] He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing (grk: ‘Thriambeuo’) over them in him."                                                    

Verse 13 - indicates most of the Colossians are gentiles in need of baptism (cf. Eph 2:11; Dr Hahns bible comm). Verse 14 - The bond is a list of charges filed against the sinful human family. Christ destroyed this legal certificate on the cross, when he canceled our debt of guilt and won pardon for our crimes. In this scheme, Jesus mounted the cross to bear the curses of the Old Covenant so that the blessings of the New could flow forth to the world (Gal 3:13-14). As a further benefits, Christ frees us from the ceremonial observances of the Old Covenant, which merely signified our need for salvation in the first place (Eph 2:14-16; Dr Hahns Bible comm). St John Chrysostom: ‘By his death on the cross he removes all our stains and exempts us from the punishment due to them. He takes our charge sheet, nails it to the cross through his own person and destroys it’ (Navarre commentary p.178). Listen to the Church’s Easter Vigil prayer: “O truly necessary sin of Adam, which the death of Christ has blotted out! O Happy Fault (Felix Culpa) that merited such and so great a Redeemer!”

Verse - 15 the reference to disarming the principalities and powers. These are legions of demonic spirits (Eph 6:12) that Christ conquered dramatically on the cross. Paul depicts this in terms of a victory march, recalling how the Roman Generals dragged prisoners of war through city streets to be disgraced and ridiculed after a successfully military campaign. Prisoners of War were displayed during the parade while these captives were led along in disgrace and sometimes executed at the end of the march. What this verse says is that the demonic powers are disarmed and disgraced by the conquering Christ like prisoners of war (Dr Hahn study Bible). The foot of the cross is where God is now taking a victory lap with the demons in chains behind his heavenly chariot.

This is why Satan screamed at the end of the movie “the Passion”, because the demons were defeated and taken prisoners by the blood atonement on Calvary and souls could now be purified and receive forgiveness of sins. The cross is a war memorial, that’s the spot where we beat our enemy.