After the death and resurrection, of Jesus conclusion Part 22
By Terry Cropper
To think of Jesus in military terms may seem foreign to many of us.
Most think of our savior as the mild and meek loving Lamb of God. We
hardly think of God in military terms but the Bible often does. It calls
him "LORD of Hosts" (which means Lord of Armies). When Joshua prayed to
the LORD concerning the war with Jericho a Man suddenly appeared with a
sword drawn in His hand.
Joshua then said to Him, “Are You for
us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as The Commander of the
army of the LORD I have now come. This man who is a Christophany of
Christ is specifically called "The Commander of the army of the LORD".
The Bible does portray Jesus as a divine warrior. Let's look at how Paul
explains this analogy.
Paul uses an interesting image of
salvation when he writes that Jesus “disarmed the powers and
authorities” by making “a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them
by the cross” (Colossians 2:15). He uses the word for a military
parade: the winning general brings captured enemy soldiers in a victory
parade at home. They are disarmed, humiliated, and put on display.
Paul’s point here is that on the cross, Jesus did this to our enemies.
"But to each of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's
gift. Therefore, it says, 'When he ascended on High, He led a captive
of host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.' Now this expression, 'He
ascended,' what does it mean except that He also had descended into the
lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who
ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things
Without a good grasp of the historical setting
in which Paul was writing Ephesians 4:7-10 our understanding of the
verses will be lost. Paul is quoting a paraphrase from Psalm 68:18 that
says: “When you ascended on high, You led captives in your train; You
received gifts from men, Even from the rebellious - That you, O LORD
God, might dwell there.”
Paul here changes “you” to “he” and
changes “received” to “gave.” So Paul is taking this verse from the Old
Testament and changing it to apply it to the Church. Paul uses it to
describe Christ’s relationship to the Church as our Head, and the giver
of blessing to us.
The passage in Ephesians 4:7-10 is talking
about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. In his resurrection,
he led a "host of captives" or an "army of captives" and "gave gifts to
men." There was more going on in these verse that meets the eye which
Paul and the first century saints understood.
Jesus was a WARRIOR
and doing BATTLE and WON. The imagery being used is this passage is
that of a victory parade. During the ancient times the conquering King
would proceed with his army behind him into the city after a victorious
battle, and he would be tossing gifts to those along the streets. At the
end of the procession would be the prisoners of war, the captives, in
shackles. So Paul is telling us that Jesus is a conquering King who
conquered the enemy death, and gave his people gifts. Jesus is no wimp.
Jesus as Conqueror strips naked and exhibits in open public as
defeated ones, the ones conquered
The Greek word thri•am•beuʹo,
meaning “lead in a triumphal procession,” occurs only twice in the
Scriptures, each time in a somewhat different illustrative setting.—2
Colossians 2:14; Colossians 2:15.
Often times when we think of
God going to battle for His people we think of God fighting for Israel
in the Old Testament. Military imagery for our savior may seem strange
to us. However, it was not strange for the saints who saw their children
and parents thrown to the lions for the entertainment of Roman simply
because they were Christians, and their homes seized because they
believed in Jesus. This was justification for "holy war." And God did
the fighting, for them. Many of the early Christian's who read these
words became martyrs and did not fight back. These words inspired hope
to those suffering for their faith.
Psalm 2 stands as a warning
to the enemies of God's anointed, and comfort for his people. The kings
of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together
against Yahweh and against his anointed: 'Let us tear their fetters
apart and cast away their cords from us!' He who sits in the heavens
laughs, Yahweh scoffs at them. Then he will speak to them in his anger
and terrify them in his fury.
But as for me, I have installed my king
upon Zion, my holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of Yahweh;
he said to me, 'You are my son, today I have begotten you.' Now
therefore O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth
Do homage to the son, lest he become angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge
in him! (Psalm 2)"
This song speaks of the coronation of the king
of Israel. The king was appointed by Yahweh himself, and is therefore
invincible. It is foolish for any enemy king or nation to go against
Yahweh's anointed. For his enemies, he is a divine warrior and
conquering King who proceeds with his army behind him into the city
after a victorious battle, tossing gifts to those along the streets with
the prisoners of war, the captives, in shackles. He is a conquering
king. He is king of kings.
Christians Share in Triumphal
Procession. It was from such examples and general knowledge of the times
that Paul drew his metaphor when writing to the Corinthians: “Thanks be
to God who always leads us in a triumphal procession in company with
the Christ.” (2 Colossians 2:14-16) The picture Paul presents here is
fellow Christians as devoted subjects of God, “in company with the
Christ,” as sons, ranking officers, and victorious soldiers, all
following in God’s train and being led by him in a grand triumphal
procession along a perfumed route.
The Apostle is here thinking
of himself and his fellows as belonging to the conquering army, and not
to the conquered enemy. The Greek word thri•am•beuʹo, meaning “lead in a
triumphal procession. Romans 8:37 says Yet in all these things we are
more than conquerors Greek ὑπερνικῶμεν through Him who loved us.
I know it took many years for me to learn what it means to live the
victorious life Jesus died to give us as believers. The more time I
spent studying the Word, the more I grew in my personal relationship
with Christ and I came to understand what it means to be more than a
conqueror and how I could get there.
When considering the
triumphant Christian life, we may wrongly think that victory depends
upon getting out of impossible situations. Actually, we are already
"more than conquerors" even while we are in the midst of the
impossibilities. Yes, right in the middle of the impossibilities of
life, we already have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1
To be more than a conqueror means that before
you ever get a problem, you already know that whatever problem comes
your way, you can overcome it through Christ. To be a conqueror is to be
victorious over an adversary. To be "more than a conqueror" means we
not only achieve victory, but we are overwhelmingly victorious.
Being more than a conqueror is winning in battle before it even begins.
Jesus the Commander of the army of the LORD told our brother Joshua.
See, I have given into your hand Jericho (Joshua 6:2) Joshua was "more
than a conqueror" before the battle ever begin. He had the
overwhelmingly victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christians, already know the end of the story. Christ already won the
battle for us. To be more than conquerors means when we face the trials
of life we have the certainty that we are not alone. We have a mighty
Father who fights for us. "It is finished" and it's just a matter of
God lives within you and you have the confidence that God
loves you no matter what and He will never leave you nor forsake you.
It’s so important for us to get this truth down in our heart and see
ourselves we are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus.