Christus Victor: overcoming the crushing defeats of ordinary life
[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_wp_text text=”When I was a kid growing up in church we used to sing this song, Victory in Jesus. And, whether it was the song or something else, it seemed like ‘victory in Jesus’ was a pretty popular idea around Calvary Community Church. Crazed tambourinists shouted it, lonely widows claimed it, drunks begged for it, and the choir hummed it in the background of the Sunday sermon. Consequently, I grew up in an ecosystem of victory chants and ejaculations, a veritable smorgasbord of Christian conquest.
I miss that.
For a time I was embarrassed by all the hootin’ and hollarin’ (as they liked to call it), but those good folks—gardeners of God’s eternality, as I now recall—had something most people lack. And they had it in spades.
They had hope.
They believed that no matter how bad things got, no matter how dire their straits or grim their chances, that God’s Spirit was on the move to save, to heal, to rescue, and to restore. They had hope when it looked like pure fantasy, and they had it for the most ridiculous things. They hoped money would show up on their door steps at night while they slept, and they hoped their children would be unable to sleep because God’s Spirit would convict them of their sin and they would fall to their knees in spectacular repentance, they had hope for divine deliverance and supernatural healing, hope for jobs and better jobs, hope for mystical romances that practically fell from heaven. And, lo and behold (for those are, indeed, perfectly suitable words here), they would find money and receive gifts, and their children did run to the altar to get both saved and married (sometimes simultaneously). Not always. But lots. And when they didn’t get what they wanted, or get it in the way they desired, that didn’t stop them from shouting, claiming, walking, and believing for victory.
When I look at my midwestern town, with all its economic woes and cultural false-starts, I think we could use a little victory. I think we outta start drinking that victory Kool Aid. Because those folks that raised me had it right.
We’ve got something to hope for, because we’ve got someone on whom to rest all our hopes. And Christ Jesus didn’t just make a few promises about a better life later on, he won the decisive victory against the powers of darkness on the cross. He defeated death, he made a show of the powers of Satan and his subordinates, and he reversed the effects of sin on the human soul.
And because he won the victory, and because we are united with him through his Holy Spirit, we share in that victory too.”][/vc_column][/vc_row]