“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’
The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub-serve his end, not theirs.
They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet.
They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne.
They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in.
They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.
They thought they had defeated God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down to that point.
He conquered not in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”
James Stewart (1896–1990), Minister of the Church of Scotland
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. – Colossians 2:13-15