THE GREATEST OF ALL PARADES
In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.
2 Cor.2:14 The Message
What is the greatest of all parades? Could it be a Rose Bowl parade, or maybe The Orange Bowl parade, or possible Carnival in Rio or maybe one of the Mardi Gras parades? None of those are even a close second to the greatest of all parades that is rolling right now! What is this spectacular parade? Of course it is the triumphal procession spoken of by Christ in today’s verse. It is the procession of His victorious sons and daughters on display for all of the world to see. This passage is a descriptive picture, painted by the Apostle Paul. He is using a scene very familiar to the people of Corinth, actually to the whole region that had come under the influence of the Roman Empire. The Romans would have a giant victory parade after conquering a new area. They would parade through the streets honoring the victorious general and his triumphant soldiers. They would also put on a display with the trophies, the slaves of the conquest. This is a picture of our victorious general, Jesus Christ. He is parading through the streets of the world in His celebration of victory over sin and it’s dominion over mankind. The trophies of His conquests are the liberated slaves of the former kingdom. Who are these trophies, those who have been born again, liberated from the lusts and sinful behavior of this present world. We were once slaves of this evil generation, but now we have been liberated, we are marching and dancing with Jesus in the greatest parade of all time, celebrating our liberation from the power of sin.
One of the greatest features of the Roman parade were the smells. The streets were filled with the special fragrance of victory. There were the sweet smells of the flowers, the incense, and the incredible aroma of the sacrifices offered in the streets. To those who rejoiced at the Roman conquest it was a smell of victory, to those who were not rejoicing, it was the horrible smell of defeat and death. This “Jesus parade” also features a fragrant aroma, it is the smell of Christ radiating from the lives of those who have been freed from sin. To those who rejoice in Christ’s victory over our sinful lifestyles, it is the smell of life, to those who continue in the ways of this world, it is the fragrance of death. What are you smelling today?