All this is applied to our warrior-king – Jesus Christ – who ventured forth into the enemy territory of sin, sickness, of the curse of death itself – who shed his blood in death but rose again saying, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Rev. 1:18).
The angels of heaven, baffled by the mysteries of his redemptive work, gathered in their myriads to welcome the victorious warrior back to heaven’s throne. Satan and his hosts of demons and all their destructive works are bound by the cords of Christ’s blood-brought authority, defeated by one who achieved the victory at so great a price.
CHRIST SHARES THE FRUITS OF VICTORY
But with whom does he share the fruits of victory? Not with the angels, for they have no part in the battle. The spoils are shared with none other than those who by faith have identified themselves with Christ. He shares the spoils with those who fought the battle with him.
But we were not there! We had no part in his sufferings or his victory – except for the grace of God who has identified us in his Son. This is the marvel of divine grace!
All that Christ did was not for him, but for us. It was in our name that he died. In our name He was buried and rose again. The victory He won was on our behalf He was the representative man going forth as our substitute to defeat our enemy and to win our victory.
For this reason he calls on us to share the spoil, to sit with him in the conqueror’s chair, to be a partaker of his authority over the enemy and all his power.
AUTHORITY OVER THE ENEMIES OF MANKIND
Some have assumed that the words, “he led captivity captive,” mean that Christ led captive souls from hades to heaven at his resurrection. Whether or not that actually happened, it is difficult to read it into this verse. The Amplified New Testament renders that verse this way – “Therefore it is said, when he ascended on high, he led captivity captive – he led a train of vanquished foes – and bestowed gifts on men.” The A.N.T. has this foot note quoted from Matthew Henry – “He conquered those who had conquered us; such as sin, the devil and death.” This is true to the picture presented to us in Psalm 68 from which this verse is quoted.
Therefore, those to whom the gifts are given share the victory of Christ and possess his delegated authority over all the foes of mankind – the devil , demons, and all their evil works.
It is an authority to loose men from sin and from sickness, to release them from all illegal captivity.
It is a key to unlock prison doors and to announce freedom to those who have been enslaved by the enemy.
It is the privilege of heralding the good news of deliverance throughout the land.