Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 2
After a battle in the ancient world, the army that won would of course be very joyful. They would organise a great procession to express their joy and to give honour to their rulers.
In that procession, they would force their prisoners, the soldiers from the army that had fought against them, to walk. Especially, they wanted the most important of their enemies, the rulers and the military leaders, to suffer that shame. Often, they would force their enemies to walk naked in that procession. They wanted to show how completely they had defeated those enemies.
Paul uses this word-picture to explain that Christ has defeated his enemies completely. By his death on the cross, Christ defeated the devil and the power of sin (evil deeds) and death (1 Corinthians 15:56-57; Hebrews 2:14-15). The death of Christ makes it possible for people to have the closest relationship with God (Hebrews 10:11-22). The result of his death is that the devil and all his evil forces will lose their power completely. This will happen at the time that God the Father has chosen, at the end of the present age (Psalm 110; Revelation 19:11 to 20:4). Then Christ’s rule over all things will begin.
It was by means of the cross that Christ overcame his enemies. That fact astonishes us (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). A cross was simply a method to cause a person’s death in an awful and shameful manner. However, Christ chose the cross as the place where he would suffer for the sins (evil deeds) of other people (Romans 5:6-8). By that, he freed many people from the power of sin, the devil and death to give them a right relationship with God (Romans 5:17-21).
Next part: Rules of religion, and their proper purpose (Colossians 2:16)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.