“He made a public spectacle of them.” Col 2:15 NIV
The cross is universally recognized as symbolizing the Christian faith. We’ve all seen baseball players crossing themselves before going to bat…jewelry stores sell gold crosses…and bakers celebrate Easter with hot cross buns. One author says: “Christianity has become a religion of the cross—the gallows, the electric chair, the gas chamber, in modern terms. Normally we think of someone who dies a criminal’s death as a failure. Yet Paul would later reflect that ‘Christ…forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code…that was against us…He took 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.’ On one level I think of individuals in our own time who disarmed the powers. Racist sheriffs who imprisoned Martin Luther King Jr.…the Soviets who deported Solzhenitsyn…the authorities who imprisoned Nelson Mandela…all thought they were solving a problem. Instead they ended up unmasking their own violence and injustice…When Jesus died, even a gruff Roman soldier was moved to exclaim, ‘This man certainly was the Son of God’ (Mt 27:54 NIV)…He saw the contrast between his brutish colleagues and their victim Who forgave them in His dying gasp. The pale figure nailed to a crossbeam revealed the ruling powers as false gods who broke their own lofty promises of piety and justice. Religion, not irreligion, accused Jesus; the law, not lawlessness had him executed. By their rigged trials…scourging…and violent opposition to Jesus, the political and religious authorities exposed themselves for what they were…Each assault…laid bare their illegitimacy, yet in the end—He won!”
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