Last week I discussed the Victory Parade that occurred in Sheol during those three days Jesus was in the heart of the earth. During that time, according to scripture, Satan was humiliated, shamed, and disarmed by our Redeemer. It’s easy to make the connection to Japan’s surrender to the Allies in 1945, aboard the USS Missouri. There was a formal ceremony conducted when the leader not only signed the agreements but also surrendered his sword. He was, in essence, stripped of his power and disarmed. That’s the picture I have in my mind as I ponder those three days of Christ in hell.
I listened on Youtube to the account of VJ Day and here’s what I heard:
• After two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan there was unconditional surrender.
• Japan’s leadership and military were brought into submission.
• They were disarmed and weapons destroyed.
• The leaders were put on trial for war crimes.
• The survivors, POW’s around the world, were liberated.
• Japan was humbled in the presence of a new, supreme authority.
• A new flag was flown there (US).
• The Japanese people would experience greater freedom.
Can you see the similarities? Was there a catastrophic event as God, in human form, invaded Sheol? Satan’s submission came when he realized he had crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8) and defeat was inevitable. With Satan and his demons stripped of authority and weapons, liberation was attainable. The waiting saints at Abraham’s Side were led in triumph as Jesus Christ paid the blood ransom.
Elihu, who spoke into Job’s life, prophesied of this Redeemer:
If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him, and he is merciful to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit; I have found a ransom; (Job 33:23, 24 ESV)
To bring this part home for us, the new flag that is flown is the Nike flag. The Greek word for ‘overcomer’ is nikao, where the title Nike is derived. We, as believers, assume the triumph and overcoming power of Christ that rightfully belongs to us. It is imparted to us by His Spirit and we, in Christ’s Church, walk in freedom and authority.
And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, (Ephesians 1:22 ESV)
… putting everything in subjection under his feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:8, 9 ESV)
My hope in writing this series is that you’ll receive great encouragement as you ponder the details of Christ’s descent into hell on your behalf.