What the Gospel IS: Christus Victor
In Death by Love, Mark Driscoll shares a pastoral letter explaining how the doctrine of Christus Victor brings comfort to Katie, a friend that was tormented by demons:
….Three days later, Jesus your Warrior King rose in victory over death. Seeing Jesus alive, the Great Dragon (aka Satan) snatched you as his captive, drew his sword of law, covered with the blood of your sin, and thrust its razor-sharp point at your head, naming every sin you have committed….Smiling, Jesus stepped forward and declared that he already paid the penalty for your sins on the cross, canceled any right Satan had to hold you captive, and defeated your Enemy along with his servants and their works and effects in your life.
With fear in his eyes, the Great Dragon dropped his sword from your head and was overcome with dread as he understood the victory Jesus had won for you through his seeming defeat. Drawing his own sword of truth, Jesus landed a crushing blow on the head of the Great Dragon, shattering his helmet and bloodying his head. Jesus then stepped toward the Great Dragon and thrust the pommel of his sword against his mouth, shattering his teeth and sending them violently down his throat.
Then, with a blow to his armor, Jesus doubled the Great Dragon over, leaving him gasping for air and unable to bellow his curses and blasphemies anymore. With a crushing elbow to the back of the head, Jesus dropped the Great Dragon into the very dust in which Jesus himself had lain three days prior, and the blood of the Great Dragon of all his armor and clothing as his bowed head and bloodied mouth moaned in the agony of utter defeat.
Ashamed of your many years at the Dragon’s side, you stood off to the side alone, gazing at the ground until Jesus came to you. Taking your chin in his hand, Jesus lifted your face, looked you in the eye, and told you that your sins were forgiven, your Enemy conquered, and your life liberated from captivity, and that God is now your Father, new life is your gift, and heaven is your home. As tears streamed down your face, Jesus asked you always to remember to see yourself as he does, not in light of what you have done or what has been done to you, but rather solely by what he has done for you as your victorious Warrior King….