III. GOD’S WORKING DURING CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION
A. Wiping Out the Handwriting in Ordinances, Which Was against Us, Contrary to Us,
and Nailing It to the Cross
In the crucifixion of Christ, God wiped out the handwriting in ordinances, which was against us, contrary to us, and nailed it to the cross (Col. 2:14). While the Roman soldiers were nailing Christ on the cross, God was also nailing something there. Christ suffered the nailing and God did the nailing. God nailed to the cross the law given through Moses.
At the time Paul wrote his Epistle to the Colossians, all the Jewish people, all the Judaizers, and all the Colossian believers influenced by the Judaizers respected Moses and the angels to the uttermost because the law was ordained through angels and given through Moses (Gal. 3:19; Acts 7:38, 53). The Colossians even fell into the heresy of worshipping the angels (Col. 2:18). But while the Roman soldiers were nailing Christ on the cross, God was nailing the law on the cross. While the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, many women who had followed Him were looking on from a distance (Matt. 27:55-56). They saw only the Roman soldiers’ nailing Him on the cross, but they did not see that God was also nailing the law there. The Bible tells us this.
B. Stripping Off the Rulers and the Authorities
and Making a Display of Them Openly, Triumphing over Them in the Cross
While God was doing His work to accomplish Christ’s wonderful crucifixion, the evil angelic rulers and authorities in the air were making trouble. They came in to frustrate the crucifixion. But God stripped them off as someone would strip off a garment. God made a public show of them in the sense of an open shame and triumphed over them in the cross (Col. 2:15).
I hope we can see how much God was doing on the cross. Christ was nailed on the cross for six hours. In these six hours God did two things outside of Christ. First, He nailed the law on the cross. The soldiers were busy nailing Christ on the cross, and God was also busy nailing the law there. Second, He stripped off all the bothering evil angels to clear up the atmosphere around the cross. On the cross God was stripping off all the evil angelic rulers and authorities that the way and the atmosphere might be cleared for us to enter into the participation in Christ. That was God’s move on the earth. That was God’s move in man in the death of Christ. Thus, Christ’s crucifixion is a part of God’s history in man.
God’s working during Christ’s crucifixion to nail the law on the cross and to strip off the evil angelic rulers and authorities is revealed in Colossians 2 through the apostle Paul. Paul somehow knew these things, and we do not know how he came to know them. Paul did tell us that he had received a great and mysterious revelation (Eph. 3:4; 5:32). In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul said that he was caught away into Paradise and heard unspeakable words, which were not allowed for a man to speak (v. 4).
This universe is not just a universe of the physical history. Behind the physical history, there is the spiritual history. Behind the visible scene, there is an invisible scene. The people of this world know only the visible, not the invisible scene. But the Bible shows us both. Through the reading of the Bible we can see the visible scene in this universe, and we can also see the invisible scene behind the visible scene. In the invisible scene, we see God’s move, God’s history, in man.
(The Move of God in Man, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)