Having disarmed the powers and authorities, [Christ] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
In Buddhism, a thangka painting typically portrays the wheel of life—the historic representation of the nature of human existence. Central to the painting is the circle of life, which has no beginning or end. Life with its endless reincarnations is a spinning wheel that never stops. Perhaps most ominous about the thangka is that the hands and feet of the devil grip the wheel from behind. It’s obvious who is in control of such a spinning history of futility.
In my office I have a painting by a Christian from Tibet who created a very different thangka. In this thangka, the wheel of life has been invaded by Christ’s incarnation and transcended by Christ’s resurrection. And the hands and feet of the devil are broken free from the wheel. As our text states, Christ disarmed “the powers and authorities” and “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Billions of people in our world think that life has no real purpose—that we’re like hamsters on a spinning wheel, running forever in meaningless circles. But history is under God’s control; it had a beginning and will have an end. The devil’s defeat means a world in which all things are made new—even the likes of you and me.
Lord, thank you for the invasion of your grace into our broken world. Thank you that the powers of darkness are broken and that we live today in the assurance of the coming of the kingdom of light. Amen.
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