Joshua Graves
Exploring the Collision of Culture & Faith
CHRISTUS VICTOR-A Rant-Poem of Sorts
September 10, 2014



Symbols are all around us

Vying for our affection and allegiance

Nike. Wear this. You are legit

Warby Parker

BMW –like a NISSAN only better

We put 26.2 on our car (or 0.0)

My kid’s an honor awesome super blah blah blah

An American flag

Apple Stickers 

Our favorite football team

Because symbols are important 

Symbols are symbolic of what we think is important

Symbols are also symbolic of our incessant need to be important

To matter

To be a winner

To scream at the end of life, “I didn’t waste my life.”


Then you have the cross

A foolish symbol

A symbol of defeat, loss, shame, hopelessness

Like walking around with a noose on your necklace

What are you doing with a noose?


I wear a cross often; a necklace really  (pictured above)

It’s a rosary prayer bead from former Bosnia-Herzegovina 

It reminds me that there is power and then there’s power

When it’s hanging in my car

Draped around my neck

squeezed in my hand at the hospital bed of the sick and dying

There’s power and there’s Power


Which brings me to the many verses in the NT regarding the cross (there are many)

Did you notice that they all talk about the cross but that they talk about the cross differently?

A verse about the cross and sin

The cross and righteousness

The cross and humility

The cross and reconciliation

The cross and sin

The cross and death

So which is it? 

Cause it can’t be about more than one thing . . . can it?

The oldest view of the cross (according to people who study is this stuff) is a Latin Word that rolls off the tongue

It’s called Christus Victor

If there was ever a phrase worth tattooing on your body it’s 


It means that Jesus started the death of death

Sin, shame, violence, evil … those are all death’s servants

Jesus came to end death. Of course he took of all death’s friends. 

We’ve lived as slaves to the fear of death. And we’re sitting in a prison and the door’s not even locked.



Someone asked me a great question recently

Why do Catholics present a cross with Jesus still on it?

And why do we Protestants have a bunch of cross’s with no Jesus?

The answer is pretty simple.

The Catholic Church understands that Jesus is a Suffering Servant

And calls men and women to enter into the suffering of the world (think Mother Teresa)

Protestants know, historically speaking, Jesus didn’t stay on the cross

He’s alive

So both are right

It’s not this one or this one

It’s “yep.”

The central enemy of God in scripture is the central enemy of God in real life

God’s central enemy is death and all his friends

Jesus knew this

It’s why he went out of his way to be life everywhere he went

You are hungry? If you don’t eat, you will die. Here’s bread

You are sick? If you are not healed, you will die. Here are new legs

Life oozed out of Jesus because God is life and Jesus is from God 

So wear that cross

Rock it

And don’t be afraid of death

Because death is dying

Haven’t you heard?

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