When a Roman general had performed great feats in a foreign country, his highest reward was that the Senate should decree him a triumph…
Of course there was a division of spoil made on the battle-field, and each soldier and each captain took his share; but every man looked forward rapturously to the day when they should enjoy the public triumph.
On a set day the gates of Rome were thrown open; the houses were all decorated; the people climbed to the roofs, or stood in great crowds along the streets. The gates were opened, and by and by the first legion began to stream in with its banners flying, and its trumpets sounding. The people saw the stern warriors as they marched along the street returning from their blood-red fields of battle. After one half of the army had thus defiled, your eye would rest upon one who was the center of all attraction: riding in a noble chariot, drawn by milk-white horses, there came the conqueror himself, crowned with the laurel crown and standing erect.
Chained to his chariot were the kings and mighty men of the regions which he had conquered. Immediately behind them came part of the booty. There were carried the ivory and the ebony, and the beasts of the different countries which he had subdued. After these came the rest of the soldiery, a long, long stream of valiant men, all of them sharing the triumphs of their captain. Behind them came banners, the old flags which had floated aloft in the battle, the standards which had been taken from the enemy. And after these, large painted emblems of the great victories of the conqueror. Upon one there would be a huge map depicting the rivers which he had crossed, or the seas through which his navy had found their way.
Everything was represented in a picture, and the populace gave a fresh shout as they saw the memorial of each triumph. And behind, with the trophies, would come the prisoners of less eminent rank. Then the rear would be closed with sound of trumpet, adding to the acclamation of the throng.
It was a noble day for old Rome. Children would never forget those triumphs; they would reckon their years from the time of one triumph to another. High holiday was kept. Women cast down flowers before the conqueror, and he was the true monarch of the day.
Now, our apostle had evidently seen such a triumph, or read of it, and he takes this as a representation of what Christ did on the cross. He says, “Jesus made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Have you ever thought that the cross could be the scene of a triumph? Most of the old commentators can scarcely conceive it to be true. They say, “This must certainly refer to Christ’s resurrection and ascension.”
But, nevertheless, so saith the Scripture, even on the cross Christ enjoyed a triumph. Yes! while those hands were bleeding, the acclamations of angels were being poured upon his head. Yes, while those feet were being rent with the nails, the noblest spirits in the world were crowding round him with admiration. And when upon that blood-stained cross he died in agonies unutterable, there was heard a shout such as never was heard before for the ransomed in heaven, and all the angels of God with loudest harmony chanted his praise. Then was sung, in fullest chorus, the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, for he had indeed cut Rahab and sorely wounded the dragon. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously.
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever, King of kings,and Lord of lords.
Written by, C. H. Spurgeon
Meet the Author and part of your Christian heritage: Charles Haddon Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892) was a British Particular Baptist preacher. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is known as the “Prince of Preachers”. He was a strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition, defending the Church in agreement with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith understanding, and opposing the liberal and pragmatic theological tendencies in the Church of his day.
It is estimated that in his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, Spurgeon was the pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years. He was part of several controversies with the Baptist Union of Great Britain and later had to leave the denomination. In 1857, he started a charity organization which is now called Spurgeon’s and works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was named after him posthumously.
Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, commentaries, books on prayer, devotionals, magazines, poetry, hymns and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. Spurgeon produced powerful sermons of penetrating thought and precise exposition. His oratory skills held his listeners spellbound in the Metropolitan Tabernacle and many Christians have discovered Spurgeon’s messages to be among the best in Christian literature.