Monday, February 29, 2016

The Cross as Conquest - Brad Jersak

For the first thousand years of Christianity, Christ’s victory was the central theme in the preaching of the Cross. This metaphor is found across the New Testament, the church fathers and throughout Christian worship. Jesus proves himself to be the promised RedeemerKing who rides forth to vanquish Satan, sin and death and bring every principality, power, ruler and authority under his feet. He conquered death by death and reigns over his Kingdom of love by love— not just someday, but already, his kingdom is “in our midst.” 

The victory of Christ is at least three-fold: Jesus conquers at the Cross, through his resurrection and again, by his love. 

a) At the Cross: Paul writes to the believers in Colossae: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:13-15, my emphasis). There is the victory of the Cross; reverse engineering the process is simple enough. 

Who does Jesus defeat? The powers and authorities. How does he defeat them? By disarming them. What weapons did he take from them? The legal charges and debts held against us. How did he disarm them of these legal charges and debts? By cancelling them. How did he cancel them? By forgiving all our sins. The result? God made us alive (raised us) with Christ.

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