Christus Victor

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He does this by his life, death, and resurrection. This saving work is called the atonement. There are various biblical approaches to the atonement. The one that focuses on Jesus victory over death and Satan was captured in a 1931 book entitled Christus Victor, or Christ the Victor, by Gustaf Aulén.

Ephesians 2:2 teaches that the lost live in the ways “of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” 1 John 5:19 states that apart from Christ’s saving work “the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”

In his book, The Reconciling Wisdom of God, Dr. Johnson points out that as we think about each of God’s attributes, in light of our own brokenness, we can understand distinct aspects of the atonement. In Christ the Victor approach the attribute in view is God’s power. As a result of the Fall and sin, we are weak and in bondage. God manifests his power for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and gives us victory.

It is not hard to look around in our broken world and see evil. The good news of the atonement is that by his death and resurrection Jesus has dealt a decisive blow against the darkness. When you and I repent and trust in Christ we are set free and enjoy his victory.

Tomorrow we will look at another one of God’s attributes, his holiness, and see how our weakness in this area is satisfied by the atonement. Meanwhile, rest in the wonderful victory that Christ brings to us.

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