Why should we put on the armor of God?
Have you ever realized that we worship a God who was in a fight? Jesus Christ spent most of his time taking blows. And then he was crucified on the cross. But you know, Jesus put on the armor of God. For Jesus didn’t go straight to the Roman government and fill it with Pharisees. He didn’t build an army and attack the powers that were holding the world captive. Jesus' approach was subtle. He formed a group of rag-tag disciples and began to teach them a more excellent way that required a belt of truth, a breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, a shield of faith, and a helmet of salvation.
Remember the time when Peter drew his big metal sword to cut off the soldier’s ear in order to save Jesus’ life? And Jesus said, put down your sword and then he healed the man. There’s irony in the story, I think. Do you know what you get when you turn a sword upside down? Think about it. You get a cross. "Jesus Christ took Peter’s sword, turned it upside down, and hung there in suffering obedience" (Fox 63).
Jesus nails the powers and principalities to the cross and dies. He rises from the grave and there is a whole new world where the powers and principalities no longer reign. Jesus exposes the sword for what it really is and subverts it with a cross. Principalities and powers are not defeated with a sword; they’re defeated with a cross. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The armor of God is the sword that is turned upside down to become a cross. And we put on the armor because Jesus Christ put on the armor.
It’s a tough world out there. We might even need some armor if we want to stand our ground. I hope that you’ll put on the armor. I hope that you’ll grab your sword, even if must be turned upside down and made into a cross.