Almost all great teachers have thought in pictures, and here, Paul uses a series of vivid pictures to show what God in Christ has done for mankind. The intention is to show that Jesus has done all that can be done and all that needs to be done and that there is no need to bring any other intermediaries for the full salvation of mankind. There are three main pictures here.
- (1) People are dead in their sins. They have no more power than the dead either to overcome sin or to atone for it. By, His work, Jesus has liberated people both from the power and from the consequences of sin. He has given them a life so new that it can only be said that He has raised them from the dead. It was the old belief that only the Jews were dear to God, but the saving power of Jesus has come to the uncircumcised Gentiles. The work of Jesus is a work of power because it puts life into dead people; it is a work of grace because it reaches out to those who have no reason to expect the love of God.
- (2) The picture becomes more vivid. Jesus blotted out the 'handwriting' of ordinances that were against us; He wiped out the charge list that set out all our self-admitted debt, a charge list based on the ordinances of the law.
- (3) One other great picture flashes on the screen of Paul's mind. Jesus has stripped the powers and authorities and made them His captives. The ancient world believed in all kinds of angels and spirits. Many of these spirits were out to ruin mankind. Jesus conquered them forever. He stripped them. The word used here means stripping the weapons and the armor from a defeated enemy. Once and for all Jesus broke their power. He put them to open shame and led them captive. The picture is that of the triumph of a Roman general.
Paul thinks of Jesus as a conqueror enjoying a cosmic triumph, and in His triumphal procession are the powers of evil, beaten forever, for everyone to see.
In these vivid pictures, Paul sets out the total adequacy of the work of Jesus. Sin is forgiven and evil is conquered.
Do you get the picture of all that Jesus has done for you? Because of what He did, you are more than a conqueror.
Dear Father, I am so thankful that Your Son Jesus, came to earth and defeated the devil and demonstrated it publicly. We no longer have to be bound by the devil. Jesus is Lord and Conqueror. Hallelujah! Praise God forever more. Amen!