by Terry Camsey, Major –
Easter, and once again one faces the challenge of penning some words that may not only interest readers but also give some fresh food for thought.
Does one concentrate on the sad events of Good Friday, the exuberance of Easter Sunday, or that dreadful day in between, when even the disciples were not absolutely sure whether the promise would be fulfilled?
I remember that, when leader of the Temple Chorus in Greater New York Division (can it really be almost thirty years ago?) responsibility for an Easter Friday evening service fell upon me. It was a difficult event to plan for since, earlier in the day, we had spent the traditional “Three Hours at The Cross” and, of course, it was too early to change the focus to the resurrection.
The challenge was solved by having a musical drama evening called “Reflections” with script by (now) Colonel Henry Gariepy. Basically, it was a series of vignettes of events from the earthly ministry of the Savior and his impact on those involved. In between each scene, the Temple Chorus sang a well-known Army song about the event.
Most, if not all, corps of the division were involved in the production, taking responsibility for a scene each, with responsibility to provide their own costumes and props. The creativity was a joy to behold and a great spirit of camaraderie and respect was engendered as each corps saw how well others had responded to the challenge.
But, as I sit before my computer, I am reminded of something that a well-known evangelist had discovered about the Easter events that certainly captured my attention when he shared it with us.
The gospels tell us about the darkness that covered the Earth while Christ was on the cross and before he died.
Colossians 2:14-15 tells us (NIV) that, “…having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us; he took it away [forgiving us our trespasses], nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
The evangelist (whose name eludes me as I write—senior moment!) suggested that, since Satan believed that Christ’s death would prove to be the resounding victory for evil, he (Satan) would have summoned all of his minions to be present to celebrate the victory. Maybe, the evangelist suggested, the darkness was due to these masses of angels of darkness filling the sky, ready for that victory.
But Christ, in defeating death, thereby made utter fools of those dark angels, showing the ultimate powerlessness of evil over himself and the kingdom.
True, or not, I like the imagery and believe that there may well be more than a grain of truth in the interpretation of the Colossians passage.
I do believe in the very real nature and presence of Satan in this world. I believe that, since he cannot himself receive the glory that belongs to God, he will try his best to prevent God from receiving it…this, by diverting our attention away from God, even in worship which one writer rightly describes as warfare.
Thank God for the reality of Easter which gives us hope that, no matter what the temptation, God—through Christ—has still the power to disarm, triumph and make a spectacle of the principalities and powers that seek to destroy us.