But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 CORINTHIANS 2:14
Ancient Roman generals, returning to Rome from a victory in a distant land, would parade down the main streets of Rome with the spoils of battle—including a throng of captives from the conquered territory. These dejected captives were solid evidence to the Roman public of the great victory the general was celebrating. In this prayer of thanksgiving, Paul uses this image of a triumphal procession to thank Christ for defeating the evil forces of this world. Interestingly enough in this prayer, Paul identifies believers as Christ’s captives. We were once part of Satan’s army; but Jesus has taken us captive. As such, our transformed lives clearly proclaim Christ’s great victory. But unlike the captives of Roman conquerors, we aren’t destined to be sold into demeaning servitude. Instead, Christ has freed us from our old evil master to become his adopted children. So our captivity is really a release into the joy of Christ’s service. Liberated by Christ, we become a multimedia testimony to his power: a witness, Paul suggests, of sound, sight, and savor!
Thank God, today, that you’re included in Christ’s victory parade.
Livingstone Corporation, Zondervan, Niv, Once-a-Day: Devotional for Women, Ebook (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012).