Like us on Facebook | Contact Us
Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

“All Authority”

Col.  2:6-15

Paul again in this section is making great affirmations about Jesus Christ.  He warns against “philosophy and empty deceit.”  He is not dismissing valid questions and reasonable concerns.  The Colossians were in danger of falling into speculative arguments and fantasies.  Paul insists that all things belong to Christ.  However there is a danger in wandering away from Christ and following “human tradition.”  Paul sees these tendencies as threats to the church.  He, of all people, is certainly not anti-intellectual.  Yet he realistically understands that there are false alternatives to the gospel which even Jesus had warned against (Matt. 24:5).  There are many forms of ‘spirituality” in our world that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ.

Paul then gives us a summary of the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross.  Too often the view has been presented that Christ died to fulfill the demands of the law, that his death somehow satisfied a need in God’s justice.  Such a view is itself speculative and theoretical.  It is not what the New Testament essentially teaches.  Jesus did not die to fulfill the demands of the law (as was the case with the Old Testament sacrifices).  In his death he freed us from the law’s demands, “erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands.  He set this aside nailing it to the cross.”

Because of sin we were captive to death and the devil.  Christ on the cross took all these forces on to himself, these “rulers and authorities” and disarmed and conquered them (Heb. 2:14-15).  Paul conjures up what would have a familiar image to his readers.  A Roman centurion would return dragging his defeated adversaries behind him, chained to his chariot.  This is Paul’s image of the victory of Jesus Christ.  He has made a public example of sin, death, hell, the law and the devil “triumphing over them” in the cross.

This means we are free of guilt, fear and failure.  Christ has won the victory for us.  The power of the cross, which to human eyes appeared as shame and weakness, is fully revealed in the triumph of the Resurrection.  We can now live out the frequent command, “Do not be afraid” (Matt. 28:10).  Amen!

Gracious and faithful God I praise you for the victory Jesus won on the cross and revealed in the Resurrection.  May I continue to live in that victory.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.