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. Col. 2:13-15, ESV.
We are currently engaged in a struggle. Most people are social distancing and wearing masks when they go out in public. Businesses are shuttered. Society is battling an enemy virus. But there are other battle-lines. Jobs have been lost. The market is in the tank. Isolation is taking an emotional toll on people everywhere. This is a multi-front war. The battle on the virus-front has opened up other battle-lines: political, economic, and emotional.
This is not strange. Rarely does war have but one battle line. So it was on the cross.
As Christ set aside our sin debt, forgiving us of our trespasses, He also “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” Christ’s death not only won the battle over sin and death and hell for His people, but it also won the battle against the spiritual forces of darkness. Grant Osborne describes how Paul uses battle-language to describe this second front in verse 15:
“The subjugation of the “powers (literally, ‘rulers’) and authorities” by God is pictured as a Roman triumph (as also in 2 Cor 2:14–16). After a victory the conquering general, wearing the toga picta (a purple emperor’s robe with gold ornaments), would ride through the streets of Rome in a war chariot drawn by four horses. Marching behind in chains was the defeated army as captives, with the generals to be executed and the soldiers sold into slavery. Thus many interpreters translate this clause in 2:15 “made public display, leading them as captives in his triumphal procession.” Christ is exalted and demonstrates his glory publically for all the heavens to see by stripping the satanic forces of their power and leading them captive behind his victory chariot on his way through the heavens.” 
Christian, Christ bought your forgiveness on the cross. He also defeated those spiritual powers that wage war against Him and His people. In these challenging days, you may find yourself battling against dark spiritual powers. If so, remember that Christ won both battles on the cross. Your sins are forgiven at the cross. Christ’s enemies are defeated at the cross. Your foe is a disgraced failure.
Hallelujah for the cross!
Looking forward to Sunday,
 Grant R. Osborne, Colossians & Philemon: Verse by Verse, Osborne New Testament Commentaries (Bellingham: Lexham, 2016), 78.