2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV) But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
You may have seen this in a movie or maybe read it somewhere. Kings and their armies would celebrate as they returned for a victory. You would see a parade. and people carrying scepters with incense spreading smoke and a pleasing aroma. I’m sure crowds would be flooding the streets to get a glimpse of this amazing accomplishment.
Soldiers would walk in heads high and proud as they could be because of their courage and strength they showed defeating the enemy.
Captives, however, would be brought back as prizes from their victory. And they would walk with their head down with fear in there eyes because of the uncertainty of the future.
Paul having this in mind gives us a somewhat twisted imagery of this. He gives the imagery of a captive who is walking in head high proud, excited, boasting and spreading the news like smoke from incense because he has been captured by the conquering king.
What kind of person boasts about being captured?
The most joyful captives on earth
Maybe it’s one who has realized what he’s been captured from. Paul who had been a persecutor of the church. Someone who hated and persecuted the church and thinking he was walking in the light but instead was walking in the darkness.
Now he sees that he’s been captured from the kingdom of darkness and delivered to the kingdom of light. This is why a prisoner of war could be joyful to be used to spread the glory of the conquering king.
In the same way, those Christians who are the most joyful are the ones who know what they have been saved from. Those who think they not really bad people and God just kind of dust them off will never experience the same kind of joy.
You and I have been brought out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light and now we are captives of Jesus Christ our conquering King.
Freedom in captivity
As captives of the conquering King, this means you belong to Him.
You are not free to yourself and to your own desires. You are a prisoner of war.
But somehow you are freer than you’ve ever been.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
It’s not until we find ourselves captive in Christ that we find our truest freedom.
It’s not until we are slaves and the captives of Christ that we can walk in the freedom to become like him. To be transformed into his glorious image.
You must become captive in Christ to find the freedom that your heart desires.
Freedom is calling. But so is God.
What kind what kind of freedom are you chasing after?
Freedom to do whatever you want?
- not do anything
- go where you want
- leave when you want
Is it a freedom that means no one can tell you what to do?
As much as you feel like freedom is only found in a life without restraints, there is another kind of freedom.
There is a freedom that can only be found in captivity.
John 8:36 (NIV) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
In Jesus, there is real freedom. Freedom from sin. And freedom to access the throne room of heaven every moment of every day.
It’s not until you surrender to King Jesus that you will find true freedom.