Friday, June 10, 2011

The Champion

And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:13-15 RSV)

There is a song called "The Champion," released in 1985 and sung by popular entertainer, Carmen, which tells the story of Jesus' victory over the devil from the perspective of a prize fight. I can remember seeing him perform it in person at a local church-sponsored concert. It's a fantastic journey into the art of storytelling. Yet there is truth to the thought behind the song.

If you define the word "champion," one source states, "Someone who has been a winner in a contest," or, "Someone who is chosen to represent a group of people in a contest." Another gives it as, "a person who has defeated all others in a competition," and then as a verb, "to support; defend." This same source has a definition I particularly like, "A warrior or knight who did battle for another, esp a king or queen, to defend their rights or honour." The word itself comes from a Latin root meaning, "battlefield."

Now, all that is fascinating and a lot of food for thought, but I want to extend the analogy even further and take you more into the mind of the King James Bible translators. In the Medieval world, a champion was one hired to do combat for the rights of another. There were champions dating back to Roman times, but the typical romantic ideal comes from the time of William the Conqueror. It was what we'd today call "a duel." One party would fight another until either one was killed or he called out, "Craven," which in effect was, "I give up."

The battle could be because of any number of things, land disputes, a crime, etc., and was recognized as legal. You could choose either a trial by jury or a "trial by combat." Following the battle, the defeated foe was "declared infamous, deprived of the privileges of a freeman, and [made] liable for damages to his successful opponent." In extreme cases, the loser was sometimes hung, given he had survived.

This brings me back to the opening verses from Colossians 2. There is more to Jesus' resurrection than just an empty tomb. Jesus defeated the devil and all that the devil stands for. He became for us our champion. He legally settled any claim the devil had over us. In the King James Bible, it says He "spoiled principalities and powers." (v15) This thought is again a bit archaic in our modern thinking, but essentially it means they were made useless. (e-sword.net)

Useless means "not serving any purpose." Think about that! Poverty is useless. Sickness is useless. Fear is useless. Anything the devil has tried to "put on" you is useless, it serves no purpose for you, for Satan has been completely defeated. What? Did you think Jesus did a half-way job? No! He "triumphed" over Satan...OPENLY. He didn't hide what He'd done. In fact, he displayed it. He made of Satan a "public example," saying, "Look here at what is useless, at what is futile!"

Now, I know that the world is full of sorrow and many troubles; death surrounds us every day. But we are to be like the man of Psalm 91:7-8, sitting in heavenly places, made inaccessible (AMP) to what the devil desires to do in our lives. We shouldn't roll over and accept things! No, Satan is defeated! As all the world falls around us, God has sent us a champion, Jesus, who defended our honor and restored to us the rightful place in His kingdom. It's legal, and it's yours!

"But," you say, "How do I get there? How do I come to this place of peace and joy, safety and happiness, victory, and deliverance?" Through determination. Through prayer. Through daily meditation in the Scriptures. Through faith in what Jesus has done for you. Through confession of God's promises.

Stand up today with the redeemed and "say so!" Victory is found in praise and worship. Joy is found in your rejoicing!

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy. (Psalm 107:2)

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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