Saturday, October 1, 2011

Freed from the Powers

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:15)
At the cross, Jesus took on everything that stood against us: our sin, the Law, the principalities and powers — everything — and defeated them all. He released us from our sins. He wiped out our indebtedness. He took the law that condemned us and nailed it to the cross. Now Paul adds that Jesus disarmed the “principalities and powers” and triumphed over them.

The “principalities and powers” (or “rulers” and “authorities,” as the ESV and LEB have it) were thought by the ancient Hebrews to be the spiritual entities or supernatural powers behind earthly kings and kingdoms (see, for example, Daniel 10:12-13 regarding the “prince” of Persia). It was such entities as these that false teachers were presenting as keys to divine understanding, but they lead only to oppression. However, Jesus has disarmed them, stripped them of their power, by the power of God. The apostle John said, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

It is through the cross and the resurrection that these entities have been defeated. See how Paul prayed for believers, that they might know “the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:19-21).

King Jesus has made a “public spectacle of them, triumphing over them.” This is a victory parade, a triumphal procession, such as kings or generals would make after a great conquest. They would lead the defeated foe, plundered and powerless, along with the spoils of war, for all the people to see.

The powers have been broken and we have been set free. “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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