During the Middle Ages, there was a law which allowed for trial by battle, or judicial combat. Those who were weak, too young, or unfit to fight would be allowed to choose someone to fight in their stead; a proxy. Generally, a person was accused of something and if they denied it and there were no witnesses, the accused and accuser would fight it out. Whoever won was proclaimed “right”.
Dueling had the same idea. In dueling, a written challenge was given to the offending party and rules were agreed upon by the accused and accuser, or through their “seconds.” The duel commenced on the date agreed upon, and the winner was the one left standing. The loser had obtained (in the accuser’s and the crowd’s eyes) their just reward: death.
In the Bible, we see David v Goliath, fighting on behalf of their armies and kings. Goliath was chosen as the champion of the Philistines. He was massive; Goliath was a true giant. He was evil, too, and prideful. He came out “guns blazing” if you will, yelling out accusations and profaning the name of the Israelite God. Would no one come to fight him? The Israelites had not chosen a champion; no one could possibly defeat this man.
But David realized the problem with the Israelite’s thinking. He had a Champion in mind to fight the battle against the Philistines: God Himself. He went out there and stood before the giant with just a sling and a stone, but with the Champion in his heart. The giant laughed and mocked him. But you don’t mess with the Great Champion. God will not be mocked. David won against Goliath, thus the Israelites against the Philistines. And the fear of God came upon both sides.
Another example of this duel or judicial combat is Jesus v Sin/Death/Satan. Satan throws out the accusation (still to this day), chooses his champion: Sin, and challenges humanity to a duel, a trial by battle. This is the battle of our lives. It is life or death and we will always lose. In terms of sin, we are the guilty party, the offender. Sin is too strong for us. We are the weaker party, unfit to fight. If we choose to be our own champion, we will surely die, “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a, KJV), and “as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10, KJV). We need a proxy.
The Choice is Yours…
When it comes time to choose a champion, the only One who can fight and win is the Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ. God chose Him to be Champion for the whole world. But His victorious outcome isn’t given to us unless we choose Him for ourselves. In the case, or trial by battle, of Me v Sin, Death, and Satan, I choose Jesus for my Champion, my proxy.
Jesus took our offense and the accusation against us upon Himself, knowing one day that we might choose Him as our Champion. He gave up His life for us as though our sins were His own. But being innocent Himself of any wrongdoing, He could not be held in death or the grave. He had to come out the winner because He is Right. He paid our price in full with His life and rose the Victor.
So, in this life, who do you choose to fight your giants? When the battle is raging, the fear is rising, and there’s no victory in site, will you choose to fight on your own? Or will you realize the battle has been won and the trial is already over? The giants named Sin, Satan, or even Self, have already been defeated. The victory is yours in and through Christ, the Champion, if you’ll choose Him.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, KJV)