Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage begins with the forty-fourth verse of the twenty-third chapter and continues through to the twelfth verse of the twenty-fourth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you find the beloved physician Luke not only continuing to write concerning Jesus on the cross, but also bringing us face to face with the time of day. Beginning to read with and from the forty-fourth verse of the twenty-third chapter you will find Luke writing how it was about the sixth hour, and at the sixth hour of the day there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. In the fifty-fifth verse of the very same chapter we read how the sun was darkened, and how the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. If you turn back to the New Testament gospel which the apostle Matthew you wrote you will find him writing concerning the same sequence of events—namely, concerning the time of day upon which Jesus the cross was upon the cross. We must recognize and understand that when the gospel writers write about the time of day at this particular juncture, Jesus the Christ had already been upon the cross for a period of time. It was not at this particular time during the day when Jesus the Christ was nailed and hung upon the tree, but it was about this particular point during the day when this specific event took place. If you begin reading with and from the forty-fifth verse of the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel which the apostle Mathew wrote you will find the following words written concerning Jesus’ time upon the cross: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabacchthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save Him” (Matthew 27:45-49). Looking ahead and moving to the New Testament gospel which John Mark wrote you will find the following words which were written concerning this particular point while Jesus hung upon the cross: “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a. Reed, and gave Him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take Him down” (Mark 15:33-36).
As I sit here this afternoon, I can’t help but find—not only the timing of the darkness to be peculiar and interesting, but also the presence of the darkness to be incredibly telling and intriguing. What gives this even more weight is when you consider something Jesus said unto those who sought to lay hold of Him while He was yet still in the garden with His disciples. If you turn back to the fifty-second and fifty-third verses of the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will find the following words which were spoken by Jesus unto the chief priests, the captains of the temple, and the elders which were come out unto Him: “Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the Temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:52-53). I am convinced that the words which we find within this passage of Scripture helps shine a tremendous amount of light on to that which took place, and that which was taking place at this particular hour while Jesus hung upon the cross. If you read the words which Jesus spoke unto the chief priests, the captains of the Temple, and the elders of Israel, you will find Jesus not only speaking of the hour of religion within, upon and over His life, but Jesus also spoke about the hour of the power of darkness. I am convinced that what we find and what we read here is not an actual literal hour as we understand an hour in terms of sixty minutes, but rather a specific period and length of time when not only would religion have authority over Jesus, but so also would the power of darkness have authority and power over Jesus. In order for us to understand that which took place at this particular point within the life and ministry of Jesus, we must understand it in terms of the Father not only permitting religion to have authority over Jesus for a period of time, but also the power of darkness to have authority over Jesus. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find and what we read in the words which Jesus spoke unto those who came out to seize and lay hold on Him was not only a reference to that very moment in the garden when the religious leaders, the men of war, and the betrayer came unto Jesus in the garden in order that He might be seized and laid hold of, but also to that period of time when the Father had essentially permitted religion and the power of darkness to exercise authority and power over his only begotten Son. I firmly believe that the words which Jesus spoke while still in the garden shine a tremendous amount of light on to that which we find and that which we begin reading with the forty-fourth verse of the twenty-third chapter.
Not only did the beloved physician Luke write concerning it being the sixth hour, as well as concerning the darkness that covered the earth, but you also find the apostle Matthew, as well as John Mark writing concerning this sixth hour, as well as the darkness which covered the face of the earth, and even the sun itself being darkened. As I sit here today and consider the reference to darkness being over all the earth until about the ninth hour, I can’t help but come face to face with the possibility that what we read here is not only a possible reference to the Father turning His back on the Son because the curse of sin was placed upon Him, but it is also quite possible that it was at this hour—this sixth hour of the day—when the power of darkness was so incredibly pervasive within and upon the earth that it caused the entire earth to be covered in a darkness. Have you ever heard the phrase and expression “a darkness that could be felt?” I sit here today and consider the words which the physician Luke, the apostle Matthew, and John Mark wrote concerning this time during the day as being a powerful demonstration and manifestation of the power of darkness which covered the entire face of the earth. There is something rather unique found within the accounts which the apostle Matthew and John Mark wrote which I am convinced adds even more weight to that which we find in the gospel of Luke, and that is the words which Jesus spoke from the cross at this time. If you read the accounts of the apostle Matthew, as well as that of John Mark, you will find that it was at this hour when Jesus cried out unto the Father, saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” I believe with everything that is in me that the cry of Jesus from the cross at this point in time was not only possibly a reference to feeling the Father turn away from Him, and what quite possibly felt as the Father abandoning and forsaking Him, but also because He felt and was very much aware of the power of darkness that had descended upon that very hour and that very moment There was a period of three hours on the day in which Jesus Christ was crucified, and it was during this three hour period of time when there was a darkness that covered the whole earth. The question that I have to ask is that if this was merely a literal darkness which descended upon the earth—and perhaps even which covered the earth—why would Jesus cry out at about the ninth hour saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” We know from the translation of these words and phrase that what Jesus cried out at the ninth hour before and unto the Father was why He had forsaken Him. Both the apostle Matthew, as well as John Mark wrote about and referenced this cry of Jesus from the cross, and how Jesus cried out with a loud voice unto the Father in heaven why He had forsaken Him.
I am convinced there is something that needs to be said and understood concerning this period of time during the day, for there is something much more sinister and something far more diabolical that was taking place at this particular point of time than simply a literal darkness which perhaps covered the face of the earth. John Mark writes that the hour upon which Jesus was nailed to and placed upon the cross was the third hour of the day, and the apostle Matthew, the physician Luke, as well as John Mark each write that at the sixth hour of the day there was darkness which covered the whole earth. The physician Luke writes and records that during this time period the sun itself was even darkened, and its light most likely could not be seen, nor could its heat be felt. If Jesus Christ was nailed to and hung upon the cross at around the third hour, and if at the sixth hour darkness covered the face of the whole earth, then what happened during the first three hours Jesus was upon the cross? Is it possible that during those first three hours upon the cross there was authority given unto man to scorn, to mock, and to ridicule Jesus while He hung there upon the cross? If you read the accounts which the New Testament gospel authors wrote just before the mention and reference to the sixth hour, you will find that there was a period of time when the religious leaders, the Roman soldiers, and others who were present on this particular day passed by Jesus hanging on the cross, and not only wagged their heads, but also scorned, mocked, and ridiculed Him. If you read each of the gospel accounts which the New Testament authors wrote you will find it written that there was an intense mockery which took place while Jesus hung there upon the cross. There was a period of three hours—the first three hours in which Jesus was upon the cross—when I would dare say it was man’s hour to curse, to ridicule, to mock and to scorn Him. I can’t help but be gripped within my heart that these first three hours upon the cross were the hour which belonged to man, as man was given authority to hurl all their insults, all their scorn, all their ridicule and all their mockery upon Jesus the Christ. Turning back to the account of Jesus in the garden as written by the beloved physician Luke you will find that when speaking to the chief priests, the captains of the temple, and the elders which came out to Him, Jesus emphatically spoke of that time as their hour [the hour of men], as well as the hour of the power of darkness.
I do not believe it is any coincidence these words are written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke, for not only did Luke highlight and point out the fact that many was given a certain period of time in which they could exercise authority over Jesus the Christ, but there was also a period of time in which the power(s) of darkness were able to exercise authority over and upon Jesus the Christ. From His betrayal in the garden up until the sixth hour of the following day, Jesus experienced the scorn, the ridicule, the mockery, and the insults of those who opposed Him. What’s more, is that it might very well be said that the hour in which Jesus was betrayed all the way up until the sixth hour of the following day belonged to man—and perhaps even religion—as man was able to accuse Jesus, man was able to betray Jesus, may was able to deny Jesus, man was able to abandon Jesus, man was able to strike and spit upon Jesus, man was able to scourge Jesus with whips and instruments of men, and man was able plate a crown of thorns and place it upon the head of Jesus the Christ. I am convinced that from the hour in which Jesus was betrayed in the garden all the way through the sixth hour of the following day—both man and religion was given authority and dominion over Jesus the Christ. What’s more, is that I firmly believe that the first three hours of Jesus upon the cross were essentially “Man’s hour,” as man was permitted to lay it all on the line with Jesus Christ hanging their nailed to a cross completely bloodied, naked, beaten, bruised, and the like. What’s more, is that I am convinced that if we are to understand the second period of three hours which Jesus was upon the cross, we must understand the first three hours in which Jesus was upon the cross—and even the time which took place before Jesus was even sentenced to death on the cross. While still in the garden Jesus not only referenced the hour of man, but He also referenced the hour of the power of darkness, and I am firmly convinced that it would be during this time when not only would man and religion have authority over Jesus, but so also would the powers of darkness have authority upon Jesus. In fact, I believe that this is why the cross can be described and be defined as the greatest set up and greatest trap that was ever set and ever sprung, for there was a period of three hours when I am convinced that all hell was able to break loose upon Jesus the Christ. I firmly believe that during those three hours from the sixth hour to the ninth hour all the powers and forces of hell descended on to the scene of the cross, and unto Calvary in order that they might themselves exercise authority over Jesus the Christ. If you think about it—why would Jesus cry out with a loud voice unto the Father, saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” if it was merely man’s insults He had to contend with? He knew that despite the fact He would die upon the cross and be buried in the earth, He would rise on the third day, and would emerge from the grave triumphant and victorious?
THE SET UP OF CALVARY! THE GREAT SET UP OF THE CROSS! THE GREAT TRAP OF THE CROSS! The more I sit here and the more I think about—not only Jesus being nailed to and hanging upon the cross, but also the specific length of time Jesus was upon the cross—the more I can’t help but think within my mind and believe within my heart that the cross was the greatest trap and the greatest set up every designed and ever set for the devil and the powers of darkness. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find in the cross is not only a set up and trap for religion, but also a set up and trap for the powers of darkness, and even of the devil himself. The New Testament author of the epistle unto the Hebrews confirms this very reality, as they write in the second chapter: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). The apostle John writes something incredibly similar in the first epistle he wrote unto the church and congregation in Ephesus, as he wrote the following words: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). There is not a doubt in my mind that the cross upon which Jesus Christ was nailed and hung upon was indeed and was in fact the greatest and ultimate set up and trap the living God ever set up for and against the devil and his angels. What’s more, is that I would dare say that it would be during the final three hours of Jesus upon the cross that the Father would not only permit, but might even invite the powers of darkness to descend upon the scene of the cross, in order that He might accomplish one of the greatest acts of triumph and victory ever experienced within human history. Of course we know and understand that Jesus will in fact defeat the Antichrist with all his armies upon the earth, and will capture both the beast and the false prophet and cast them alive into the lake of fire. Of course we know and understand that Satan will be bound by the great angel, and would be cast into the bottomless pit for a period of one thousand years before he would be released for a short season in order that he might gather a large army unto himself. Ultimately and inevitably, Satan would himself be defeated and would be cast alive into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet were, and where all his angels would be cast. Even with these great triumphs and victories which would be the ultimate victory as Satan, death, hell, the grave, the beast, the false prophet, and all the fallen angels and powers of darkness would be cast into the lake of fire, I am convinced that what we witnessed on the cross at Calvary was one of the greatest victories and triumphs ever committed and completed against the powers of darkness, and against Satan himself.
We know from the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Colossae that it was upon the cross where Jesus spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them. This is actually quite unique and astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider the second set of three hours Jesus hung upon the cross, for I believe that it would be during this period of three hours the powers of darkness and all the powers of hell would be able to descend upon Calvary, and would be able to exercise their own authority over Jesus the Christ. I firmly believe with everything that’s in me that it would be during this second period of three hours when darkness covered the face of the whole earth that it was more than simply a literal darkness as we understand the dark of night, or even darkness as in the absence of light, but was in fact a spiritual darkness that covered the face of the whole earth. Now, one thing I don’t believe is that darkness literally covered the face of the whole earth, but rather that the powers of darkness which were present within, upon and throughout the earth all converged on to Calvary, and all converged against Jesus the Christ as He hung there upon the cross, in order that they might exercise their own authority over and against Him. Lest you think that I am somehow off my rocker or off my wagon with this line of thinking, I would remind you that it was the living God who granted Satan access to Job, and even granted him permission to first strike all that Job had, and then granted him additional permission to strike his physical body. We dare not forget that it was the Lord Himself who seemingly served Job up to Satan in order that Satan might strike at both his possessions, as well as his physical body. What’s more, is that it was Jesus Himself who declared unto Simon Peter that Satan desired to have him that he might sift him as wheat, and Jesus’ additional words seem to indicate that permission was granted to Satan to sift Simon Peter, but that despite the sifting, Jesus prayed for Simon that his faith would not fail, and that when he was converted, he would strengthen his brethren. Based on just these two realities alone I would dare say and would dare suggest that it was during these final three hours Jesus hung upon the cross that the powers of darkness which were scattered abroad throughout and upon the face of the whole earth all made their way to Calvary, and all converged on to the scene of the only begotten Son of the Father hanging their nailed to a cross as He was preparing to die. There is not a doubt in my mind that it was during those three hours when the presence of all the powers of darkness converging upon the scene of the cross caused darkness to cover a certain portion of the earth, and even to cause the light from the sun to be darkened. During those second three hours Jesus hung upon the cross at “the place of the skull” known as Golgotha, every power of darkness, and every ruler of darkness, and ever principality, and spiritual wickedness descended and converged upon the scene in order that they might might appear to be triumphant over Jesus.
MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? These words might seem to indicate and speak of one thing, however, when you consider the words which the apostle Matthew, John Mark, and the beloved physician Luke wrote concerning this period of time, you will clearly come face to face with the tremendous reality that Jesus cried out to the Father with a loud voice asking Him why He had forsaken Him, for during those three hours He was surrounded by every power of darkness, and ever ruler of darkness that existed within and upon the earth. I would dare say and would strongly suggest that during those three hours—not only was Jesus surrounded by those who hated and opposed Him, but Jesus was also surrounded by absolutely every force of darkness that was present within and upon the earth. Throughout the gospels Jesus is described as “the Son of David,” and if we build upon this particular reality we must know and understand that there were times when David might very well have been surrounded on all sides by enemies, and other times when David might have felt as though he was surrounded by enemies and adversaries. If Jesus was known as the Son of David, and if there were times when David either felt, or was actually surrounded by enemies, then I would dare say and would dare suggest that while hanging there on the cross during those final three hours of the time He hung upon the cross, Jesus the Christ might very well have been surrounded by every single demon, every single principality, every single power of darkness, every single ruler of darkness, every single principality, and every spiritual wickedness in high places, and even Satan himself. What’s more, is that I can’t help but wonder if the same unclean spirits which Jesus drove out of those He encountered during and throughout His public ministry weren’t themselves present at Calvary as Jesus hung upon the cross. Is it possible that what we see and what we find in the natural was a representation of part of what was taking place in the spiritual and supernatural realm? What I mean by this question and statement is that what we find in terms of the ridicule, the slander, the mockery, and even the temptation for Jesus to come down off the cross weren’t a tremendous and powerful picture of what was taking place in the spiritual and supernatural realm. Consider if you will that which was recorded concerning Jesus’ time on the cross, and how man who undoubtedly surrounded the scene of the cross hurled their insults, mockery, slander and ridicule upon Jesus as He hung there upon the cross:
“And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink. And they crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched Him there; and set up over His head His accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with Him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in his teeth” (Matthew 27:33-44).
“And they bring Him unto the place of Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but He received it not. And when they had crucified Him, they parted His garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the superscription of His accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with Him they crucified two thieves; the one on His right hand, and the other on His left. And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And He was numbered with the transgressors. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyyet the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with Him reviled Him” (Mark 15:22-32).
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them desired Him, saying, He saved others; let him save Himself, if He be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, and offering Him vinegar, and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked Him, saying, Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And He said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto Him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:33-43).
“And they took Jesus, and led Him away. And HE bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not read it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did” (John 18:16-24).
When we come to the sixth hour of the day, we find Jesus still hanging there upon the cross, and still alive as His accusers and His mockers continued to hurl insults, mockery and ridicule at and against Him. What’s more, is that I am convinced that while Jesus was hanging there upon the cross there was still the matter of temptation, for there were numerous individuals who declared concerning Him that if He was indeed the Son of God, He should descend from and come down off the cross. There were those who declared that if He was the King of Israel, He should come down off the cross, and they would believe in Him. Without a doubt I believe that just as Jesus was surrounded by those who would ridicule, slander, and mock Him, so also during those three hours—from the sixth hour to the ninth hour—Jesus was surrounded on all sides by all the powers of darkness. Oh, I wonder what it was like during those three hours as Jesus hung upon the cross knowing that He could easily call down ten legions of angels, and knowing that He could have removed Himself from the cross, and yet chose to remain nailed to and hanging upon the cross. What if the reference to and mention of Jesus being able to call ten legions of angels to come to His rescue was more than just a reference to saving Him from that which man would do to Him, but also to wage war with and combat the powers of darkness, and all those rulers of darkness and forces of evil which surrounded Him round about? I wonder what that scene must have looked like for Jesus from the cross as He might very well have seen that entire place surrounded by every vile and foul demon, and every unclean spirit surrounding Him as He hung there upon the cross. If we were given a glimpse into what that scene looked like in the supernatural and spiritual realm, what would we indeed and what would we in fact see? I can’t help but firmly believe that during those three hours—the period of time from the sixth hour to the ninth hour—we would find Jesus completely and utterly surrounded by powers of darkness, rulers of darkness, demons, principalities, unclean spirits, demons, and even Satan himself. It might very well be for this very reason we find Jesus crying out with a loud voice unto God the Father asking Him why He had forsaken Him. Could it very well be that in that moment Jesus not only felt surrounded by every force of darkness and every power of hell, but He also felt forsaken and absconded by the Father in heaven? Oh, what was it like for Jesus as He hung there upon the cross and not only felt abandoned and forsaken by His Father, but also felt completely surrounded by every power of darkness, and even felt Himself be pray before them in order that they might pounce upon Him like a bunch of ravaging animals? I firmly believe that the powers of darkness must have been given some degree and some measure of authority and power over Jesus during this period of three hours, and the darkness which covered the earth was a spiritual darkness which was manifested by absolutely every power of darkness converging upon Calvary in order that they might behold this spectacle, and even take their aim at Jesus the Christ.
I mentioned that the cross was perhaps the single greatest trap and perhaps the single greatest set up the Father ever set, and I am convinced this is evidenced by and with the empty and open tomb. It was true that Jesus Christ was perhaps surrounded by enemies and adversaries on all sides as He hung there upon the cross, and it was true that they perhaps had authority over and upon Him, and it was true that it was even permitted to put Jesus to death, yet the Father would not allow Jesus’ body to remain in the grave, nor would He allow His soul to remain in hell. Instead, the Heavenly Father raised Jesus up from the grave, and completely confounded the powers of darkness. When we look at, and when we examine the cross of Calvary, we must recognize and understand that it was perhaps the single greatest set ups and traps ever set and sprung by the Father, for it would be through the cross where every power of hell would converge, and would perhaps even gloat at the death of Jesus the Christ, yet their hour of triumph and victory would be short lived, as early the next morning—not only would the stone be rolled away from the entrance of the tomb, but Jesus would be raised from death to life, and would emerge from the tomb triumphant and victorious over death, hell and the gave. What’s more, is I am sure that when the stone was rolled away by angels from heaven, when the earthquake struck the earth, and when Jesus rose from the grave and emerged from the tomb every power of darkness, every force in hell, every spiritual wickedness, and ever ruler of darkness must have been completely and utterly terrified, for they all believed that Jesus had been put to death and that they had gained victory over Jesus the Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father. Little did they know that the cross of Jesus Christ was a heavenly set up and a supernatural trap as the eternal Son would be positioned on the cross—almost as if He was bait—in order that He might render completely powerless and useless every power of darkness and every force of hell. I am convinced that when we think about the cross upon which Jesus the Christ died, we must think of it in terms as a trap that was set in which the bait was positioned in the midst of the trap, in order that the prey might be captured. In this case, it was not about capturing the forces of darkness, the powers of hell, the rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness, principalities, and even unclean spirits and demons, but about completely and utterly triumphing over them, thus completely rendering them powerless. What’s more, is that the cross positioned Jesus to conquer death, hell and the grave, and to destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil. WHEN THE SURROUNDED BECOMES THE SET UP! WHEN BEING SURROUNDED IS ACTUALLY A SET UP! THE SETUP AND SNARE OF BEING SURROUNDED! YOUR BEING SURROUNDED IS ACTUALLY A HEAVENLY SET UP AND SNARE! SURROUNDED: THE HEAVENLY SNARE AND SET UP TO DESTROY YOUR ENEMIES.