Sunday, November 22, 2015


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 (Ephesians 4:7-10)

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 Corinthians 15:57)

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.

We, as 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 time.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment