Satan has an ace up his sleeve—even if his captives want out of the POW camp, he has a legal claim to them. A claim that can be broken only by blood. These prisoners can be ransomed, but only at a terrible price.
It appears the evil one doesn’t understand Jesus’ next move. He sees an opportunity to finish what he started back in the massacre of the innocents. The authorities grab Jesus at night, bring him in under false charges, bribe witnesses, then get a weary, cynical Roman puppet to execute him because the mob is about to riot. Jesus seems to have run out of options, lost his ability to maneuver. Yet this plays right into his plan—his secret plot to overthrow the rule of the evil one on earth. Apparently, Satan did not know that by sacrificing Jesus he would pull the one pin that would crumble his entire kingdom, fall into the very scheme God the Father had carefully, ever so carefully arranged for the undoing of evil:
“We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:7–8).