Home » Advanced Search » Colossians 2:15

Colossians 2:15

Colossians 2:15
View Download and Print Options


Colossians 2:15, “…having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

This past weekend I was reading a book on Paul’s theology of the cross when I came across an arresting sentence by theologian James D.G. Dunn regarding Colossians 2:15. Dunn wrote:

“The transformation of values–from the cross as the most shameful of deaths, to the cross as a chariot leading the defeated powers in chains behind it–is about as audacious as one could imagine.”

I remember reading a C.H. Spurgeon sermon that used this imagery ( http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=9160311469 ) but I wasn’t sure how far he had embellisedthe concept. However, after reading Dunn’s evaluation and then going back to Colossians 2:15 to check on the Greek, it was clear that this is actually what the Holy Spirit intended when He inspired Paul to use this metaphor.

The imagery is of a conquering general riding through the streets in his chariot, dragging the defeated kings and warriors behind him–making them a “spectacle.” THIS–Paul tells us–is what God did to the spiritual powers and authorities of this world through the cross of His Son.

Christ is the conquering general, His cross of self-giving love is His victor’s chariot, and held captive in His train are all the demonic rulers, all the false gods, all the angelic accusers of His people–now stripped of final power and exposed to the watching world as a defeated enemy….and crushed under this King’s pierced heel is that ancient serpent, Satan himself.

I doubt if we will ever plumb the depths of what happened when our Lord and our God was lifted up on the cross. The songs and hopes and doctrines and poems and pictures and lives of Christians for two millennia have been occupied with nothing else–and still we are only water-striders on the surface of the Pacific Ocean of His glory. However, one of the things the Holy Spirit would have us know about the death of our Lord is that–agony though it was, horror though it was, “hour of darkness” though it was–it was also the Triumph of the King of Glory, the decisive defeat of false gods, and the cosmic exhibition of Satan as a conquered foe.

May God give us grace to see, savor, and sing–in every sphere of our lives–the multifaceted beauty of the crucified Christ who lives forevermore.