Showdown at Calvary
This was the showdown of the ages, one between Jesus Christ and the kingdom of darkness. It occurred at Calvary, just outside the city of Jerusalem. First, let’s go back in time from Calvary thirty-four years, to the city of Nazareth.
The entire kingdom of darkness, perhaps billions strong, knew the Messiah was coming but didn’t know when or where. It seems reasonable everyone was on the lookout. Did one of the demons overhear the angel Gabriel tell Mary she was going to have a very special baby?
Joseph got a summons to go to Bethlehem for a consensus. The demon world knew the Babe was in Bethlehem; if they didn’t know beforehand the wise men from the east surely gave it away, and influenced Herod the king to kill all the babies in town to make sure they eliminated Jesus. Now one might say, How do you know demons were involved? Maybe it was all Herod’s idea. Well, could be. But where there is blood of babies splattered in homes and on the streets you can be reasonably sure the powers of darkness were involved.
An angel warned Joseph in a dream and they fled to Egypt for safety. Undoubtedly the underworld watched every move of the holy child when in Egypt and after the family returned to Nazareth, keenly awaiting an opportunity to snuff out His life. And undoubtedly an even greater army of angels stood guard over their precious charge.
When thirty, Jesus and satan had their confrontation in the wilderness. He later said of satan, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Make no mistake, Jesus was well aware of the presence of the devil, his army of despots, and his evil intent. Every day Jesus opposed the kingdom of darkness, setting many free from demonic oppression and demonic diseases.
What was clear to Jesus was not obvious to satan. Jesus knew that to set men free from the grip the kingdom of darkness held over their lives He must become the sacrificial lamb. To Jesus, the cross was victory because it was there He, the only innocent Man to walk planet earth and the only acceptable sacrifice, would make full payment for man’s sin. To dumb satan the cross was the defeat of Jesus, and his rulership over the people of the earth would be secured. So he schemed to do what Jesus wanted him to do. Jesus never devised anything, didn’t resist, just let it all happen.
Jesus had several confrontations with the religious leaders, the Pharisees, who held the population in spiritual bondage. He once told them, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” Undoubtedly many had unknowingly opened the door of their lives to the kingdom of darkness and were influenced to plot the death of Christ. They paid Judas Iscariot thirty pieces of silver to betray his Master. Jesus knew of the betrayal and after exposing him before the other apostles, the Bible records, “Satan entered him.” Jesus told Judas, “What you do, do quickly.”
Jesus knew that Judas knew He would be at “the Mount of Olives” that evening at “a place called Gethsemane,” and Jesus knew His traitor would be there with temple guards to make the arrest. The devil undoubtedly thought he had taken Jesus by surprise, and things were going his way. Jesus was beaten with rods, spit upon and falsely accused in the secret of night. The jealous and revengeful Pharisees brought Jesus before Pilate and coerced him to have Jesus scourged and crucified. Behind the scenes was an army of despotic demons influencing, suggesting, inspiring, whispering, coercing the Pharisees, Pilate and the frenzied mob to shout, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Gleefully the underworld witnessed their greatest enemy hang in shame and defeat on a wooden cross. There must have been myriads of angels looking on, doing nothing to interfere. The Pharisees jeered at the victim. His disciples were totally downcast. The pathetic figure on the cross breathed His last and died.
But what looked so bad was so very good. Payment for all sins of mankind, past and future, were paid in full. Man now had access to God, just like Adam had before he sinned. Heaven was opened to all who would come to Christ, embracing Him as savior and lord.
How deflated the entire army of darkness must have been at the news of the resurrection of Christ. Perhaps it was not until that Sunday morning Black Hat finally realized he had been defeated. Since then multi-millions, perhaps billions, have escaped his kingdom of darkness and have entered the kingdom of light, sons and daughters of the most high God.