THE MUZZLING OF THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT
Mark 1:23-25 “And a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. And he cried out, 24 saying [and per the Greek, interjecting with indignation/wonder/fear], AH! LET US BE. What is to us and to You, Jesus, Nazarene? Have You come to destroy us? I know You, who You are, THE HOLY ONE OF GOD. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, BE MUZZLED, and come out of him.”
Did the Lord silence the unclean spirit to prevent it from prematurely emphasizing, or too deeply revealing, His coming death (His coming work of redemption/atonement on the cross)? I think so but *cannot say dogmatically.* Note:
Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave My soul in Sheol; You will not give YOUR HOLY ONE to see corruption.
The “Your” refers to Jehovah God. So “Your Holy One” referring to God, conveys the same exact idea as “The Holy One of God.” Therefore, the unclean spirit may not have been simply identifying the Lord as “The Holy One” (in some abstract sense) nor was it just declaring the general (albeit unique) Holiness of God the Son. Instead, it could very well have been referencing Psalm 16:10, making a direct connection to the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, and His body ‘not seeing corruption’ thereafter (along with all of the other aspects associated with the term “The Holy One” as found in the Old Testament; see Mark 3:11-12). The evil spirit was likely foreshadowing The Lord’s full identity and His death to come. Not wanting to have that degree of connection/foreshadowing manifested, the Lord moved to muzzle/silence the spirit immediately.
In fact, it’s interesting that the next time that Psalm 16:10 passage is referenced, it is AFTER the cross, after the resurrection, as we see in Acts 2:22-39 and then again in Acts 13:33-35. We also see how often the full plan and scope of the Atonement, the “cross-work,” was hidden from not only the masses, but from the Apostles themselves, who (though hearing the Lord’s words physically) were not given spiritual ears to hear, and understand, the true nature of what was to come. And what was to come? We see it summed up in the following passage:
Acts 13:26-35 “Men [and] brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled [them] in condemning [him]. 28 And though they found no cause of death [in him], yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took [him] down from the tree, and laid [him] in a sepulchre. 30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up JESUS again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, [now] no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35 Wherefore he saith also in another [psalm], Thou shalt not suffer THINE HOLY ONE to see corruption….”