But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
This ‘triumphal procession’ image was one seen in the Roman world. Paul must have seen it recently and it comes right after his mentioning of Satan and his schemes. Satan is the enemy. Christ Jesus is the Victor.
In the Roman world when the Emperor or Warring General would return from battle victorious, the captives from the conquered region would follow behind him in procession. There were sights and smells associated with this victory parade. The captives would become slaves in the Roman empire.
Paul thanks God that Christ has conquered and is the Victor, leading the parade. And who are the captives following behind Him? We are! Jesus has conquered Satan and the kingdom of darkness and we’ve been transferred to the Kingdom of Light. We are slaves to the King… servants of the Most High. What we do in service to King Jesus is, by our very ‘aroma,’ proclaim who He is and the victory that He has won. By our very lives we proclaim Jesus, and to some it is the sweet smell of freedom. To others it is the stench of death.
King Jesus, you are the Victor! Be victorious over me today and use my life to proclaim your Lordship. I pray for those who are enslaved to sin and Satan, that they might give up the empty things of this world and become a slave to You. Thank you for the freedom that comes in servitude to You! Be exalted today.