Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've always been told that when Jesus died on the cross, he ultimately defeated Satan and won victory over death. Satan was not aware of the secret plan and thought that he had defeated Jesus until Jesus died and he realized what had really been going on.

I don't find that so hard to believe, but I've been thinking about it lately ... Since there are a lot of prophecies about the son of God in the Old Testament -- and Jesus fulfilled them all -- shouldn't it have been quite clear for the Devil that God's plan was to sacrifice his only son, namely Jesus, on the cross to cleanse all of our sins? I figure that he should have the necessary intelligence to come to that conclusion. Or is it something along the lines that he's not able to understand the ways of love and truth, since he hates love and truth and all that is good, and has nothing to do with any of it?

So, my question is: Was Satan really taken by surprise when Jesus died on the cross?

share|improve this question

7 Answers 7

up vote 14 down vote accepted

No I don't think he was surprised at all. But that doesn't mean he wasn't disappointed. I'm sure he held out a false hope that things might go his way.

Satan is not omnipotent and could not have known exactly what God was planning, but he would have known and been able to understand the prophecies as well or better than men and it was never any secret that he was going to be crushed. However we must remember how he got to be Satan in the first place. His pride blinded him to think that he could rise and challenge the living God. That kid of pride is debilitating to comprehension and it deludes one into thinking an outcome could be different than the obvious.

I think this can stand as a warning to Christians because we have the same root of pride in our nature. If we willfully object to the sovereignty of God in our personal lives we will be blinded by this pride.

share|improve this answer
I like that you said "got to be Satan". Sometimes we forget that satan isn't merely a name, but it means "accuser" in Hebrew, and devil means the same in Greek. It's not just a name, but also the title of his office. A sure sign of pride is accusing others, but "who can accuse the elect? It's God who justifies." –  Andrew Aug 22 at 4:14

Actually, we are never told in Scripture whether or not Satan knew exactly God's plan of redemption was. But we might have an inference in 1 Peter.

1 Peter 1:12 (NASB) says:

It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look.

Apparently the angels have wanted to look into what the gospel plan was, but were unable. Hence, if the angels did not know, then I feel pretty safe in saying that Satan did not know either.

share|improve this answer
Apparently, none of the Jews knew either. They expected the Messiah to come and reign, not die on the cross. Even His own 12 didn't understand this during the majority of His ministry. –  Shredder Oct 18 '12 at 22:27

Satan did not understand what he was doing.

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8

It is amazing it was still a mystery considering it speaks about the redemptive plan in Gensis.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to Christianity.SE. We are happy to have you participate here. We usually prefer a little more to the answers. This sounds like a good start to an answer. You can edit it (the edit link under the post) to add more. Please see the faq and read the meta posts linked there and highly upvoted questions and answers on the site to get a good idea of what we expect for answers. Also, check out markdown that you can use to format your posts. I hope to see you here again. –  fredsbend Apr 5 '13 at 6:24

Satan did not know God's plan. That is why it says in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Ephesians 3:1-9 (NKJV)

3 For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles—

2 if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me toward you,

3 how by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words,

4 whereby when ye read this, ye may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ),

5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:

6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel,

7 for which I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ,

Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. And we are still today trying to spread this gospel that was taught to Paul from Christ. People do not want to hear about it they want credit for their salvation. But Christ finished it all on the cross.

share|improve this answer
Welcome, please be clear when you quote, remember that it takes two line breaks to get a new line, and it would help your answer tremendously if you spend a few lines explaining a bit better why these verses prove your point. –  wax eagle Jan 30 at 14:14
Welcome to the site! This doesn't really have much to do with your answer, but I find that sharing the following tends to help new visitors avoid mistaking the purpose of this site. I do hope to see more from you! When you get a chance, please see How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Stratton Jan 30 at 20:57

The Scripture says:

John 10:10 King James Version (KJV) 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

---> So, it is God's nature to be good. And the thief's nature to be bad.

The Scripture continues to say:

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

---> This means that Jesus as the good shepherd will only do good by laying down his life for the sheep -- the believer of the Lord Jesus Christ.

---> Satan, on the other hand, can only do bad. He can steal our life, kill us, and destroy our life. His very nature is like that, according to the scripture. So, he did carried out his plan of stealing, killing, and destroying, even to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is like God and Satan is playing "chess" -- the game of life. The only move Satan makes is always stealing , killing and destroying. And the only move God makes is always giving life to his creation.

---> After Satan had done the "check mate": Killing the Lord Jesus Christ, then God made a move: GIVING LIFE to His beloved SON: Praise the LORD, the Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the death and LIVES forever more. Isn't God awesome and wonderful.

share|improve this answer

corinthians 2:7-8 is not refering to angels or the devil it is refering to man not knowing the plot. I Like the first answer. Know the devil is not stupid but his pride or lack of humiltiy was strong enought to get him kicked out of heaven so it would be strong enough to not see this plan. or at least beleive it would work. Or maybe he did know but because he new he could stop it he didnt do anything about. Taking it a littlew further maybe he didnt care because he new he had a better chance and attacking humanity later instead of the omnipotent jesus christ. just think about the people today and people back then. Always remember the devil never attacks straight on head first. he is not strong enough. he use or own power and will against our selves. He knew what was going on

share|improve this answer
Please edit this to fix your typos. –  curiousdannii Aug 22 at 7:36

Satan did not understand and cannot understand Living Truth.

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained .before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8

This is how Satan & Co perceived this (1 Cor 2:7-8) crucifixion :

Matthew 21:37-43 38 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’

The law of double reference would suggest that this is not purely the thinking of Jews/Pharasee as they did not claim to be God, or his Son. This is counteraction strategy of Antichrist forces against the imminent Church. They misread Gods battle-plan completely. Because...

John 8:44 - [Satan] abode/s not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

He can process facts - but Living Truth is beyond his capability. That's why.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.