“Christus Victor”

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osma...

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“CHRISTUS VICTOR”
By Gary Wilkerson

Christus Victor” is the Latin phrase the early church fathers used to
describe Jesus and His atonement. Roughly translated, it means, “Our victory
is not in ourselves, but in Christ.” If we defeat an enemy when the odds are
fifty-fifty, we are tempted to think, “I won the battle.” But when our
enemy is nine feet tall; when we have rebuked him but he comes back stronger;
when we have exhausted all our resources; when we have thrown up our hands and
said, “I can’t do this,” then God says, “I have you right where I want
you.”

Usually Old Testament stories are taught to children not as spiritual truths
but as moral instruction. For example, the lesson of Jonah is usually presented
as, “Don’t disobey God or you’ll get into deep trouble.”

Most of us were taught the story of David and Goliath in Sunday school and the
lesson is, “Be brave and courageous.” The trouble with this interpretation
of David’s story is that we are teaching our children to do something they
are unable to do. There was not a single Israelite soldier who could have
survived a hand-to-hand fight with Goliath. That battle was beyond even the
bravest man.

Likewise, when we are in a spiritual battle, bravery and boldness are not
sufficient. David knew he was no match for Goliath. In fact, he wasn’t even a
soldier yet; he was too young. The only thing David was armed with when he
showed up at the battlefront was bread and cheese for his brothers. Yet the
difference with David was that he knew the battle was not his but God’s. When
he heard Goliath’s taunts, he testified:

“This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down
and cut off your head . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in
Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword
and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our
hand” (1 Samuel 17:46-47).

Spiritual victory is never our own—it comes from our Deliverer. In this story
David is a picture of our Deliverer, Christ. He cuts through all our anguish and
despair with an authority no demon can stand up to. Goliath had no chance that
day, for one reason: The battle was the Lord’s.

Read this devotion online: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/22450?src=devo-email

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