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The Triumphal Procession in Christ: How the Conquering God Reveals Himself by Leading the Apostle Paul to His Death

Why it matters: Parades are so much fun. The bands, the floats, and the celebration of a special day. Everyone gets into it. The participants and the onlookers alike. Parades are a blast.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. | Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (2 Co 2:14). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

The big picture: In Jesus, we are in one perpetual victory parade. We march through life, in Him, moving from place to place, always in victory. We are triumphant in His life of resurrection. The power that raised Him from the dead is in us and upon us. When the crowd sees us in His victory parade, they know it is Him who deserves the praise.

Worth noting: God is God. He does what seems best to Him. God has chosen us. Through us, he brings His message to the whole world. What an amazing God we serve.

The bottom line: Let us think about the scope of the victory of Jesus. It is stunning. We should be overwhelmed The biggest thing is it is shown by His spoken word. He just says it and it happens. How amazing is that?

  • Matthew 8:16 (CSB) — 16 When evening came, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick,
  • Matthew 8:8 (CSB) — 8 “Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
  • Matthew 8:13 (CSB) — 13 Then Jesus told the centurion, “ As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that very moment.

Let’s dig deeper: The picture here is that of the “Roman Triumph,” the special tribute that Rome gave to their conquering generals. It was their equivalent of the American “ticker-tape parade.”

  • If a commander in chief won a complete victory over the enemy on foreign soil, and if he killed at least 5,000 enemy soldiers and gained new territory for the Emperor, then that commander in chief was entitled to a Roman Triumph. The processional would include the commander riding in a golden chariot, surrounded by his officers. The parade would also include a display of the spoils of battle, as well as the captive enemy soldiers.
  • The Roman priests would also be in the parade, carrying burning incense to pay tribute to the victorious army.
  • The procession would follow a special route through the city and would end at the Circus Maximus where the helpless captives would entertain the people by fighting wild beasts. It was a very special day in Rome when the citizens were treated to a full-scale “Roman Triumph.”
  • How does this piece of history apply to the burdened believer today? Jesus Christ, our great Commander in chief, came to foreign soil (this earth) and completely defeated the enemy (Satan). Instead of killing 5,000 persons, He gave life to more than 5,000 persons—to 3,000 plus at Pentecost and to another 2,000 plus shortly after Pentecost. Jesus the Messiah claimed the spoils of battle—lost souls who had been in bondage to sin and Satan. What a splendid victory!
  • The victorious general’s sons would walk behind their father’s chariot, sharing in his victory; and that is where believers are today—following in the Messiah’s  triumph. We do not fight for victory; we fight from victory. Neither in Asia nor in Corinth did the situation look like victory to Paul, but he believed God—and God turned defeat into victory.