Monday, April 16, 2007

Chrysostom on Col. 2.15

In a remarkable text from Colossians, Paul can say that God having ‘Disarmed the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross’ (Col. 2.15). What appeared to the spiritual rulers and principalities as God’s apparent defeat on the cross was in fact the occasion for his greatest triumph. John Chrysostom commented on this passage: ‘Never yet was the devil in so shameful a plight. For while expecting to have him, he lost even those he had; and when Christ’s body was nailed to the cross, the dead arose. At the cross death received his wound, having met his death stroke from a dead body. And as an athlete, when he thinks he has hit his adversary, himself is caught in a fatal grasp, so truly does Christ also show, that to die with arrogance is the devil’s shame’.

Peter Gorday (ed.), Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (ACC 9; Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2000), 35

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