If Christ had not been put to death, death would not have died. The devil was conquered by his own trophy of victory. The devil jumped for joy, when he seduced the first man, and cast him down to death. By seducing the first man, he killed him; by killing the last man, he lost the first from his snare.
The victory of our Lord Jesus Christ came when he rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven. It was at this point that the text from the Book of Revelation was fulfilled: “The lion of the tribe of Judah has won the day” (Revelation 5:5). The one who was slain as a lamb is now called a lion – a lion on account of his courage, a lamb on account of in innocence; a lion, because he was unconquered: a lamb, because of his gentleness. By death, the slain lamb has conquered the lion who “goes around seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8).
The devil on the other hand, is here called a lion for his savagery, rather than his bravery… The devil jumped for joy when Christ died; and by the very death of Christ the devil was overcome: he took, as it were, the bait in the mousetrap. He rejoiced at Christ’s death, believing himself to be the commander of death. But that which caused his joy dangled the bait before him. The Lord’s cross was the devil’s mousetrap: the bait which caught him was the death of the Lord.