World View
The Triumph of the Cross, Part 5

Word and Deed

It doesn’t hurt to say it again. The gospel tells us that the Lamb who rules is victorious – by his royal authority and power he restrains and conquers all his and our enemies. Paul pictures it so dramatically in Ephesians and Colossians.

Having won the decisive battle on the cross, Jesus ascended on high and took captive the powers and authorities, disarmed them and made a public spectacle of them, having triumphed over them by the cross. And in joyous celebration, he gave gifts to his people, primarily the gift of the Holy Spirit as the permanent and overflowing possession of his people (Act 2:22-36). His rightful rule over time and space and everything they contain is now finally and everlastingly established and Jesus rules until he puts everything under his feet (Eph. 1:18-23).

The Triumph of the Cross, Part 4

The Lamb upon His Throne

Perhaps my favorite city on earth is Istanbul, Turkey, the ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire and the pride of modern Turkey. It is a cosmopolitan city rich in history and culture.

One of the major attractions is Topkapi Palace, the place from which the Ottoman sultans ruled their vast empire.[i] Among the many splendors of Topkapi is the collection of imperial jewels. They are utterly breathtaking!

The Triumph of the Cross, Part 3

The Conqueror's Chariot

If you’ve ever seen the movie Gladiator, you might recall the scene where Commodus, the pretender to the throne of Marcus Aurelius, processes in triumph (albeit a triumph gained through his father’s murder) into Rome.

Attended by cheering throngs and marching soldiers, he enters the city riding in his gleaming chariot to receive the glory that will be bestowed upon him by a waiting Senate. It’s a fictional account of a triumphant march that, in fact, was the way many ancient conquerors entered cities in triumph.

The Triumph of the Cross, Part 2

Wonderful Words of Life Lexicon

Words matter. Tending to them is important because if we fail to attend to words we can lose what it is the words represent. When words are lost, ideas are lost. There is no place, perhaps, where this is more important than when we consider what Jesus did in his death on the cross. The Bible has a rich vocabulary to speak about Jesus’ great work on Calvary. Redemption, ransom, atonement, propitiation, reconciliation and justification are chief among them.

Gospel Words
Like the facets of a diamond carefully cut to reflect light, each of these gospel words in its own way captures and reflects the brilliant light of the good news of Jesus. Justification takes us to the courtroom where Jesus the Judge declares us right with God. Ransom takes us to the slave market where Jesus pays the price to obtain our redemption or freedom. Propitiation takes us to the temple where Jesus the Great High Priest offers the atoning sacrifice, cleansing our sin and satisfying the just wrath of a holy God. Reconciliation takes us to the setting of family where Jesus our Peace overcomes the alienation between God and man.

The Triumph of the Cross, Part 1

When is the last time you sang, “Onward, Christian Soldiers”? I’ll bet it’s been quite a while. Or perhaps you recall the old VBS song that children used to sing,

I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the cavalry
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly o'er the enemy
But I'm in the Lord's army!
Yes Sir!

I haven’t heard that one in a long time, either. Militaristic imagery is out these days and that’s no surprise. With the emergence of violent jihad and the memory of the Crusades being a global stumbling block to hearing the gospel, we’re careful to present a kinder, gentler Jesus. The Jesus who is a Divine Warrior, leading a conquering army, doesn’t sit so well, we think, with a culture weary of religious violence.

Now What?

Christians are divided about how to deal with the Supreme Court decision legislatinger, legalizing same sex marriage across the country, and with the increasing hostility toward traditional Christianity in the legal system and in the culture at large.

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