March 26, 2013
READ: Colossians 2:6-15
In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross (v.15).
In Clint Eastwood’s movie Gran Torino, Walt Kowalski is a cranky Korean War vet disgusted by the gangs now running his community. He gets to know Thao, a teenager living next door, after catching him trying to steal his Gran Torino car—an act forced onto the young man by a local gang.
Thao had no future due to the gangs. Either they would coax him into joining them or destroy him for resisting. So Walt decided to deal with them himself, beating one of the gang leaders to a pulp. The strategy backfired, for Thao’s sister was brutally raped in a retaliatory attack.
After deep reflection, Walt realised another approach was needed. Walt walked to the gang’s house one evening. The thugs aimed their guns at him as he slowly reached into his coat. And then Walt ripped his hand from his jacket—prompting a shower of gunfire from the gang members. His body was riddled with bullets as he fell to the ground. And there he lay, his arms outstretched in a cross-like fashion, with a cigarette lighter in his hand rather than a gun. The police arrived and the gang was arrested. Thao was saved from their tyranny.
Gran Torino vividly portrays one aspect of the cross. Like Thao, we were at the mercy of evil forces (Ephesians 6:12). But when Jesus sacrificed Himself for us, those powers were disarmed and arrested—releasing us from their grip (Colossians 1:13, 2:15). Jesus didn’t free us by retaliating against evil, but by submitting to it in our place—and then rising in triumph “from the dead” (Acts 3:15).
Walt Kowalski was no Christ figure. He was an aggressive, vulgar racist who needed his own redemption from guilt. But Walt’s act reflects what the sinless Jesus did for us on the cross—rescuing us from the dominion of darkness. —Sheridan Voysey
› 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Read Matthew 12:29 for another picture of Jesus’ victory, and Ephesians 6:10-18 to see how we can defeat Satan’s strategies.
From what evil ‘powers’ do we need Jesus’ rescue today? How have you submitted to Jesus’ power?