“And having spoiled principlalities and powers, [H]e made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)
“Who is this king of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” (Psalm 24:8)
The question our text from Colossians 2:15 seems to raise is where and when did this spoiling of pricipalities and powers happen and where was this open show of triumph? The answer most would give would be the Cross at Calvary. While the death of Christ truly is a triumph over evil it was not an open show. No, when Christ died at Calvary it appeared a great defeat to our Champion. Another question that is raised in our next text from above, when was this great battle won by our King? Another question that has been asked over and over again by many thinkers is what did Christ do and where did He go for the (3) three days between His death and Resurrection.
It would appear from the texts above and other texts we will consider (DV) that our Champion descended into the heart of the earth. This is not to say…and let me be clear, Christ did not descend into Hell in order to suffer for sin. No, He descended into Hell to square of against the enemy and to take captivity captive, that is to say, He descended to take His chosen people out of Abraham’s Bosom and to deliver them to Heaven.
To make my case let me appeal to Scripture and logic. (s)atan sought to do all he could to eliminate the blood line from which Christ would come. This is the reason for the sons of God (fallen angels) taking the daughters of men (Genesis 6) and impregnating them with demonic seed, this is the reason the Children of Israel were always in danger from her enemies like Haman in Esther. This is the reason that Herod sought to kill the young King of Israel, and prior to that (s)atan put it in Herod’s heart to tax the world which would force a pregnant Mary and Joseph to travail dangerous terrain.
Using logic, does it not make logical sense to expect (s)atan to attemp one last coup while Christ was rounding up His chosen and preaching righteous condemnation to the damned in Hell? Of course, he would, that’s what he does. (s)atan seeks to thwart all of God’s plans but is always foiled by God in the end…silly devil Victory is for God.
It would seem then that there was a battle in Hell/Abraham’s Bosom (Paradise). We know from the revealed events (Lazarus and the rich man) in the heart of the earth that there was a great gulf that separated the (2) two sides. For the sake of undisputed power and for the Glory of God these (2) two sides must have been bridged and at this bridging a war or battle was had and won by Christ and His Chosen. What else could our texts speak to or a text from Hebrews 2:14b, “…through death [H]e might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil…”? Are we told anywhere else what our Champion did for those (3) three days? What else does “taking captivity captive” mean and from where were they taken? and when was that done? and furthermore who were those saints that came forth from the graves after Christ’s resurrection and walked among the people?
This event combined with the transfiguration, I believe, are microcosms if you will, of Christ’s return to earth and the rapture of the saints and the defeat of the enemy. Before the transfiguration, Christ said that there were some standing with Him that should not see death until they see the Coming of the Kingdom. We are then told that He taketh, Peter, James, and John and was transfigured before them. They beheld our Lord change into an Image of great glory, they saw Moses and Elijah attending Christ and speaking to Him. For all intents and purposes the men of Christ’s inner circle saw the King in His Glory, they saw The King enthroned over His Kingdom., they saw “[His] Kingdom Come.”
When we think about the events that seemingly took place in the heart of the earth we see, Christ descending from above, calling His own to His side, taking captivity captive, and proclaiming condemnation to His enemies (a picture of the sharp sword of Revelation 19). And then defeating the enemy, spoiling the principalities and powers (of Ephesians 6), and making a shew of them openly, triumphing over them all.
After Christ gained the victory and utterly shamed and defeated the enemy, He rose from the dead, and brought His saints with Him and they all were seen by many persons. Over the course of many days Christ would be seen by over (500) five-hundred persons and i would guess the risen saints were to. At some point either before or with Christ all ascended into Heaven and were welcomed with the song of Psalm 24.
A word concerning the whereabouts of (s)atan. I know he is not confined to hell, nor is he the king of hell. (s)atan is a spirit that is very active in our times and he will remain active until He is deactivated by the Brightness of our Lord’s Glory. How would (s)atan be involved in the war during the (3) three days in between Christ’s death and Resurrection? We see from Scripture that (s)atan has a free reign (within God’s boundaries) for He was present in Heaven when the events of Job took place and we see him as the cause of David’s weakened faith in 1 Chronicle 21, and the empowerment of Judas prior to the crucifixtion. So it would follow that he is able to descend as well as ascend. And if (s)atan wasn’t present, it was his forces that were humiliated and defeated.
These events spoken of above should embolden our Hope of evil’s full and final overthrow and utter defeat, defunction, and deactivation at the edge of our Champion’s wetted and glistening sword. Our Lord Jesus is the King Who is Mighty in Battle. Hallelujah!!!