Even though Satan be but a brigand and a pirate with no legitimate rights from heaven for his treachery, yet Jesus paid him the ransom price of his own soul to release us from Satan’s slaveholding that resulted from our lifelong fear of death, over which Satan had control. For through his own death, Jesus summoned heaven to vindicate his own obedient faithfulness to God, for which he deserved a verdict of “innocent” and the rightful award of life. Accordingly, God happily complied by raising him back to life—this time an immortal existence—far in excess of his own need (imagine that!). So when that life came to earth at Pentecost and we got to participate in its earth-shaking power, too, the reality of death, which had previously held us in such dread and terror that we remained captives to wrongdoing and misdeeds by default, was substantially reduced in the credible expectation that Satan would now be ultimately discarded (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Satan, however, we must immediately add, was certainly COMPLETELY CLUELESS THAT BY EXACTING JESUS’ DEATH AND EXTRACTING HIS BLOOD HE WAS, IN EFFECT, SEALING OUR RANSOM. Therefore we need allege no conjectural “agreement” between God and Satan whatever. No deal was cut! The problem to be overcome was NOT THE LEGITIMACY OF SATAN’S AUTHORITY BUT THE MORTAL FEAR OF HIS OBSEQUIOUS HUMAN SLAVES. With that fear decisively shattered, his “legitimacy” toppled to earth.
Further, the Adversary had no “right” to any “ransom price” whatsoever. That would be to force the analogy to walk on all fours! That Messiah’s death would somehow (via resurrection and the consequently guaranteed arrival of the mighty Spirit of wholesomeness that was promised) ransom human subjects out of Satan’s dark realm came as a shockingly unpleasant surprise! Satan was, in a word, DISCOMFITED. HE’D BEEN TRICKED! But seeing, now, exactly how this happened historically, our only wonder should be how Christian theologians could be scandalized by this happy revelation, comical though it may be! The Book of Proverbs is replete with clarifying explanations. HIS OWN CAREER-LONG VICIOUSNESS SEALED HIS DOOM. [8/21/06]
The Protestant Reformation, in its earnestness to keep the operation of the Holy Spirit out of “the article of justification” altogether, never quite came to understand or really appreciate that EVERYTHING ACQUIRED BY MESSIAH’S BLOOD, IN PRINCIPLE, IS EFFECTED BY THE WHOLESOME SPIRIT IN ACTUALITY, whether justification, sanctification, cleansing, forgiveness, conciliation, etc., etc., in immersion and communion, by faith. [8/21/06]
Jesus HAD TO DIE ON THE CROSS BECAUSE THERE HAD TO BE A GLORIOUS RESURRECTION FOR A DISPLAY OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE CURRENT ERA (Romans 3:25-26)…FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE! It was an iron-clad necessity! We would be hopeless without it because there could have been no gift of Wholesome Spirit for us any other way. [8/21/06]