Cover 2018-07-08

Ron Writes

Conquered by Christ

The Roman victor would parade through the streets for days. He’d be surrounded by Roman legions arrayed in armor. He’d be riding a gilded chariot pulled by 4 white horses. Preceding and following the procession would be wagon after wagon loaded with statues, paintings, and treasures. Chained to the chariot would be the conquered king, noblemen, and generals being led to their deaths. The rest of the conquered would follow. People lined the streets and rooftops to get a glimpse.

Paul must have had in mind a Roman triumph when he wrote, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Col. 2:15). In the imagery, you can picture Satan, death and the spiritual authorities chained to His chariot.

It’s odd how the same word is used in 2 Cor. 2:14, but translated in a totally different fashion. The NASV, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” It’s as if Paul is riding in the chariot next to the Master. In Romans 8, Paul does describe us as being more than conquers through Him, but that’s not what’s being described in 2 Cor. 2:14.

The NIV has a consistent translation of 2 Cor. 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” Paul identifies himself as a prisoner of war, a captive himself. He is a spoil of spiritual warfare. He is conquered by Christ. He too is chained to the chariot. He is part of Christ’s triumph, but not as a fellow victor, but as one who is conquered.

Jesus wants to conquer me. Maybe it’s easier to think he wants all those vile sinners and forget that’s us. It will be grand to truly sing, “My stubborn will at last has yielded.” “Lord thy love at last has conquered… None of self and All of thee.”