2 Cor. 2:14-16 ¶ But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
You ever wonder about this verse in the Bible, what is Paul talking about? Actually he is comparing Christ’s triumph in our lives to the practice of the Roman armies after a great victory. The conquering Roman general would be the honored guest, much like a king in a Mardi Gras parade, and would be celebrated through the streets of vanquished city. Here is a description of this parade of triumph from Adam Clarke.
“On such occasions the general was usually clad in a rich purple robe, interwoven with figures of gold, setting forth the grandeur of his achievements; his buskins were beset with pearls, and he wore a crown, which at first was of laurel, but was afterwards of pure gold. In one hand he had a branch of laurel, the emblem of victory; and in the other, his truncheon. He was carried in a magnificent chariot, adorned with ivory and plates of gold, and usually drawn by two white horses… Musicians led up the procession, and played triumphal pieces in praise of the general; and these which were to be sacrificed on the occasion, with their horns gilded, and their heads and necks adorned with ribbons and garlands. Next followed carts loaded with the spoils taken from the enemy, with their horses, chariots, &c. These were followed by the kings, princes, or generals taken in the war, loaded with chains. Immediately after these came the triumphal chariot, before which, as it passed, the people strewed flowers, and shouted Io, triumphe! The triumphal chariot was followed by the senate; and the procession was closed by the priests and their attendants, with the different sacrificial utensils, and a white ox, which was to be the chief victim…During this time all the temples were opened, and every altar smoked with offerings and incense.”
Today, we are part of the Victory Parade. Christ is the conquering general, the devil and his minions are the vanquished foe, and we are the liberated people. We are also the fragrant aroma, our lives have the fragrance of Christ being released into our city as we join in His Victory parade. A parade speaks of celebration and victory. What kind of parade are you involved in? What victory are you celebrating? I am happy to be singing and dancing in Christ’s joyful procession.