© 2021 Rick Flemmer
What is a procession?
A procession is a group of people who are walking, riding, or driving in a line as part of a public event.
…a funeral procession.
Can we remember any processions in our history? I think of my daughter Addie getting married soon. She has a wedding dress and part of the dress is what we call the train an extra-long portion of fabric proceeding down the aisle for the purpose of showcasing or displaying her beauty.
How about in scripture? Can we think of a time when there was a precession?
Matthew 27:27-32 (New American Standard Bible) Jesus Is Mocked
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort to Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a red cloak on Him. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30And they spit on Him, and took the reed and beat Him on the head. 31And after they had mocked Him, they took the cloak off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. 32 As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they compelled to carry His cross.
Satan wants you:
Do you think there is an enemy out there? Yes! And he wants to parade you around as one of his captives, trophies, and show how he conquered you. Paul gives us warning about this.
Colossians 2:8 (English Standard Version)
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Jesus wants you:
John 3:16 (New American Standard Bible)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.
Romans 6:22-23 (New American Standard Bible)
22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 4:14 (New American Standard Bible)
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never be thirsty; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.”
John 14:2-3 (New American Standard Bible)
2 In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be.
Questions of a nonbeliever to believers:
How do you protect yourself from becoming captive to philosophy and empty deceit?
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (New American Standard Bible)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage battle according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
Our king is the conqueror and triumphantly parades us around as “spoils” to show the world that we have eternity with him.
Ephesians 4:8 (New American Standard Bible)
8 Therefore it says,
“When He ascended on high,
He led captive the captives,
And He gave gifts to people.
What do you mean “Ascended on high?”
Ephesians 4:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)
9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)
What is meant by “all things?”
Ephesians 1:21-23 (New International Version)
21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
How did he conquer?
By beating death on the cross and ascending to heaven.
Matthew 16:21 (New American Standard Bible) Jesus Foretells His Death
21 From that time Jesus began to point out to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem and to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised up on the third day.
Revelation 1:17-18 (New American Standard Bible)
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
Ok, so he parades you around as a Conqueror and he beat death: So, what are the gifts?
Ephesians 4:1-14 (New American Standard Bible) Unity of the Spirit
4 Therefore I, the prisoner (or captive)of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
8 Therefore it says,
“When He ascended on high,
He led captive the captives,
And He gave gifts to people.”
9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
(The gifts are you!)
Another part about a procession from a triumphal standpoint is: the conqueror will also display the shame that is associated to the defeated.
Colossians 2:14-15 (English Standard Version)
14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
As I read and understand scripture there is no mention of Satan triumphantly parading around his spoils in a procession or a train for display. You see, Satan loses!
So now the question is: How do I get to be one of those beautifully displayed captives that Paul was speaking about in Ephesians? You know, the kind he puts on display, where he is proud to show them in victory from the battle as Conqueror and King. You know… the kind who have eternal life with the King. You know…the kind who receive gifts from the King.
How? The answer is so anti-climactic, because everything is done! The battle has been won, and all the glory goes to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We just need to believe in it.
Acts 16:30-31 (English Standard Version)
30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”