But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. ~~2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)In this verse Paul breaks out with a heart of thanks, relating the Roman victory procession to the victory we have in Christ. A triumphal procession is the equivalent of a parade in our day.
Many Americans on Thursday morning will watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade celebrating the many victorious blessings bestowed upon us by our Lord. The Grand Marshal will lead off with extravagant floats following down the parade route. Large crowds will be cheering as the floats cascade down the streets. After the parade, many people across our land will watch football games.
In the times Paul wrote this letter, the Romans held the custom of triumphal procession. This special tribute paid honor to victorious generals who led successful battle campaigns. These processions were planned out much like parades are in this day. Designated routes, a specified line-up order with the commander riding in a golden chariot (like a Grand Marshal), the officers, the spoils of war, captive enemy soldiers and the Roman priests burning incense were part of this procession. This parade would end up at the Circus Maximus to watch the games. (Sound familiar?)
Paul relates the Roman triumph to the triumph we have in Christ. Jesus Christ, our Great Commander in Chief or Grand Marshal already has the victory. He defeated our enemy by His death on the cross and resurrection. As His officers, co-heirs, children of the living God through Christ, we follow Him in the victory parade.
No matter what problems we face, we already have the victory in Christ!We can now shout in thanks because we know we already have the victory! Paul’s situation did not look so great, but he believed God and God turned the defeat into victory.
Let’s give thanks to God and follow Christ who leads us in triumphal procession.Engrafted by His Grace--