Summary: With understanding of what has gone on we can see the truth & understand how to live & succeed in the midst of the “Spiritual Warfare”.
“From the Cross to Hell & Back”
Matthew 28:6-8 NLT
Spiritual warfare has been going on since the fall of Lucifer.
Isaiah 14:11-13 MSG This is where your pomp and fine music led you, Babylon, to your underworld private chambers, A king-size mattress of maggots for repose and a quilt of crawling worms for warmth.
What a comedown this, O Babylon! Daystar! Son of Dawn!
Flat on your face in the underworld mud, you, famous for flattening nations!
You said to yourself, "I'll climb to heaven. I'll set my throne over the stars of God. I'll run the assembly of angels that meets on sacred Mount Zaphon.
I'll climb to the top of the clouds. I'll take over as King of the Universe!"
But God had a plan from the beginning for us to be able to win!
Genesis 3:14-15 NLT Then the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
From the very start of man, the deception of satan has put us right in the middle of a very aggressive war!
But with understanding of what has gone on we can see the truth & understand how to live & succeed in the midst of the “Spiritual Warfare”.
I. From the Cross…
Matthew 27:39-42 NLT The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him!
The cross is the center of all that Christianity is. Jesus knew that this was the plan before He ever got to the earth.
Psalm 22:16-18 NLT My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.
This was the prophetic picture of what Jesus was coming to do. The cross was the plan that would bridge the gap between the lost & God.
1 Corinthians 2:8 NLT But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.
Do you understand that nothing went on in the torture & crucifixion that Jesus & the Father didn’t fully understand what was going to happen?
John 10:18 NLT No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
When Jesus said; “It is Finished…”, He knew He was moving as the plan had laid it out. The physical battle was done & now on to the spirit world!
II. To Hell…
1 Peter 3:18-20a NCV Christ himself suffered for sins once. He was not guilty, but he suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God. His body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit. And in the spirit he went and preached to the spirits in prison who refused to obey God long ago…
The whole focus of Jesus coming was to enter the spiritual battle that had been unleashed between God’s people & Him.
He had to defeat the adversary on every level.
So those that died before He did; they got to hear that the deliverer did show up!
Those that believed He would come were lead to freedom.
Matthew 27:51-53 NLT At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
What was this about? Jesus claiming everything that belongs to Him!
Setting record straight that satan don’t run things! He is a loser by his own choice & will remain that for all eternity!