Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 11:18-13:27 / Colossians 2:6-23 / Psalm 118:1-16
1976 was a very significant year as the United States celebrated their 200th year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Our independence did not come without a price, as many lives were lost in the American Revolution. We have our freedom today because of their passion, commitment and sacrifice.
Our political freedom is an invaluable blessing but it fails in comparison to our spiritual freedom. The sacrifice made by those who secured our political freedom cannot even begin to measure up to Christ’s sacrifice. The enemy that was fought and the victory that was secured in 1776 were waged against man. Jesus fought and defeated the strongholds of sin and satan.
As England laughed and scorned the weak colonists, Christ was mocked and ridiculed while on the cross. Yet a greater war was being waged. Paul declares, “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to 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.” (Colossians 2:13-15)
The cross and Christ’s death was the consummating triumph over the hosts of the powers of darkness. Interestingly, Paul uses military terms in describing Christ’s complete victory. For the Romans, victory could not be declared until they completely disarmed the enemy armies and their commanders. They would strip them of their weapons, armor, authority and pride. The Roman Generals would parade the humiliated and defeated captives through the streets of Rome. Thousands would gather to celebrate and praise the victorious general and army.
Christ’s enemies thought they had paraded Him triumphantly through the streets of Jerusalem, but Jesus was walking to Golgotha where His victory would be secured.
The strength of the Law and the powers of sin would not be defeated until the Lamb of God was slain. He took upon Himself our sin and as He extended His arms, our transgression was nailed to the cross.
Jesus disarmed hatred and injustice as He asked God to forgive those who were crucifying Him. After hours of struggle, He victoriously proclaimed, “It is Finished!” The sun hid, the earth quaked, nature reacted and the enemy declared, “Surely this was the Son of God!” The powers and authorities of spiritual darkness were defeated. Jesus fulfilled the Law that we could not keep. His blood secured our redemption. Jesus would parade His redeemed saints into heaven and present them before His Father. After 3 days, He displayed His victory over death, hell and the grave. Our sins have been forgiven…by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord!