For Christmas last year, my eldest son gave me a realistic replica of a Roman Gladius. He made these replicas for the company he worked for. It is a gift I cherish because 1) he made it and 2) what this weapon represents.
For those who are not familiar with the gladius, it was the primary weapon of the Roman foot soldier used to conquer the known world. It was in use for nearly 800 years. The gladius was used to squash Jewish riots in the Holy land. The power of the gladius would not have been possible without the training and discipline of the Roman soldier.
The gladius is a vicious weapon. About 30″ long, made first of iron, then of steel, the Roman used this weapon in what is known as the Roman Square. Soldiers fought as a unit, shoulder to shoulder in tight formation. At close quarters, each man was protected by the shield of the man to his right.
The gladius was the implementer and enforcer of Roman tyranny.
Jesus bled on the Cross. He suffered on the Cross. He died on the Cross… to set us free.
The Cross is also a powerful weapon. It is our Christian symbol… and so much more.
With the might of the Cross and all it represents, we are empowered. We are empowered to shed the tyranny of sin. With the power of the Cross, we are given the power to gain eternal life. For us, as Christians, the sacrifice on the Cross is everything!
And it can be everything to the World as well.
To wield the promise and power of the Cross, we must have faith. We must accept the Man who was hung there, who suffered there, who shed His blood and worldly life there as our Lord and Savior.
We must be trained. The source of our training is the Holy Bible. Read it, study it, open our minds and our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit so that our ears and hear and our eyes can see. With knowledge and understanding, we can become effective soldiers in the Army of God, wielding the power of the Cross to defeat the tyranny of sin.
We need also to come together, like a Roman legion, to function as a powerful, cohesive unit. We do this through communal worship and common belief and action.
We need one another, just as the Roman soldier needed the man on his right. The Roman soldier was not nearly as effective as an individual as he was when functioning in the Roman Square. His individual power lay not only in numbers, but in discipline and cohesion.
Satan carries a gladius. He is able to slip it through the tiniest opening to stab at our hearts, to sever our limbs or to gut the vulnerable underbelly. He has many allies who stand with him in his shield wall. He is a very talented opponent, knowledgeable of all of our tactics, our strengths and our weaknesses. If we fight Satan one-on-one, or without training or discipline, we face a steep uphill battle. Many, indeed most, lose this battle if we carry the fight alone.
The Gladius vs. the Cross
The Roman soldier carried the gladius. Christ Jesus carried the burden of the Cross. He suffered this humiliation for us, so that we might have the Cross as our weapon against the tyranny of sin.
For 800 years, the gladius ruled the world. The Cross, that wonderful Cross, is ours to rule for eternity.
Praise God for the gift of the Son.
Praise the Son for bearing the Cross.
Praise the Spirit for strengthening the Power of the Cross within our hearts.
And blessings to all who wield the Power of the Cross as Christian soldiers.
Alive in The Word