|The Temptation of Christ on the Mountain |
(Duccio di Buoninsegna ca. 1308-1311,
tempera on poplar panel)
Let us see how Christ was able to gain the victory over our enemies.
The sins of the whole world,
fastened themselves upon Christ
and condemned Him.
But because Christ is God
He had an everlasting
and unconquerable righteousness.
the sin of the world
and the righteousness of God,
met in a death struggle.
Furiously the sin of the world assailed the righteousness of God.
Righteousness is immortal and invincible.
On the other hand, sin is a mighty tyrant who subdues all men.
This tyrant pounces on Christ.
But Christ's righteousness is unconquerable.
The result is inevitable.
Sin is defeated
and righteousness triumphs and reigns forever.
In the same manner was death defeated.
Death is emperor of the world.
He strikes down
He has an idea to destroy all life.
But Christ has immortal life,
and life immortal gained the victory over death.
Through Christ death has lost her sting.
Christ is the Death of death.
The curse of God waged a similar battle with the eternal mercy of God in Christ.
The curse meant to condemn God's mercy.
But it could not do it because the mercy of God is everlasting.
The curse had to give way.
If the mercy of God in Christ had lost out,
God Himself would have lost out,
which, of course, is impossible.
the power of God,
grace and life,
and destroyeth these monsters,
and the curse,
without war or weapons,
in his own body
and in himself.
'Christ," says Paul, "spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Col. 2:15.)
They cannot harm those who hide in Christ.
the wrath of God,
are mortified in Christ.
Where Christ is near the powers of evil must keep their distance.
--from Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians 3:13, a composite from the Watson and Graebner translations, line breaks and formatting are my own.