By Brooke Holt
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” Colossians 2:13-15
Yesterday we considered how Paul was able to continue his ministry in prison. Today, Paul calls his readers to remember their former prisons. Maybe they were not behind physical bars with guards surrounding them; however, Paul reminds them they were prisoners with no hope of escape: “you were dead in your trespasses” (verse 13). Before hearing the Gospel message, these Gentiles were enslaved to sin, death, and all the forces of evil. That is the bad news.
Thankfully, that is not the end of the letter. Through Jesus, the prison doors were opened, and these believers throughout Colossae had a new lease on life. They were free, forgiven, and alive through Christ. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, took all their punishment upon himself so they may be declared holy and righteous. The bondage of sin was broken, the price of that sin was paid, and death no longer had a grip on them. Those authorities that had once imprisoned these people were now the ones put to shame. The spiritual oppressors had been overcome through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Bondage to freedom, death to life, guilt to righteousness. Through Jesus, the old was gone, and the new had come. Paul wants these Colossian readers and you to remember all that Jesus did on your behalf. Just as Jesus triumphed over sin, Satan, and death, you now triumph over those things through him. That is the Gospel message.
If all this is true (and it is), why do many Christians live as victims and not victors? Why are we so easily discouraged and prone to guilt and shame? Why do we fall back into the patterns of sin? Jesus paid a heavy price for your freedom. It is time to embrace that freedom and live triumphantly in this world and into the next.
Are you living victoriously today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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