Christus Victor

The gospel is like the sun with its brilliance, glory, and diverse rays of light. Every beam of light from the gospel sun is a different facet of gospel glory. There is the beam of redemption, reconciliation, justification and propitiation. Each beam of gospel light tells us something unique about God, ourselves, sin, and salvation. Christus Victor is another ray of gospel light. It focuses on Christ, our Warrior who comes to wage war on all that threatens our eternal well being. Here are are a few texts that focus on this angle.

  1. Hebrews 2:14-16- “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.”
  2. Colossians 2:13-15- “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.
  3. 1 John 3:8- “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
My heart has been overwhelmed with gratitude for the gospel as I have given attention to this theme. God is a Warrior. When Jesus comes in the flesh he is showing us the glory of God’s warrior-like strength and zeal. I love this.

God’s Military Campaign Against Death

Death is one of the greatest enemies of mankind. Throughout Scripture it is personified as an unstoppable power and force before which all mankind must eventually bow. I was struck this morning by this text in 1 Timothy that puts a fresh spin on why the gospel is good news. According to Paul, the appearing of our Savior “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim 1:10). The gospel is the message about how God the Warrior campaigns against death our great enemy. It is through the gospel—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the God-man—that death is put to death. Death is abolished, rendered powerless, and brought to nothing through the work of Jesus. How was such a great conqueror brought to his knees by the Nazarene? Jesus took death head on and was swallowed whole by it in order to destroy it from the inside out. Death thought it could hold Jesus and therefore swallowed him greedily like any other man. But death could not hold this man. Death imploded when the God-man sat up in the tomb. Death was rendered powerless and conquered when Jesus unwrapped his burial garments and stood victorious over the empty tomb. Like the whale that swallowed Jonah could not keep him in his belly so the grave forced by the omnipotent hand of God had to spew forth the Son of God. The consequence of the death and resurrection of Christ was the gift of life and immortality. Not only was death destroyed but the gift of immunity from death was granted. Immortality is something that belongs to God alone. The gospel brings with it the gift of an indestructible, incorruptible, and enduring life. The quality of the Triune life marked by freedom from death is graciously extended to mortal human beings through the gospel. The good news here is that God has waged war on death and he has defeated it in order to give us a life free from its dominion.