Jesus continues his mission statement by announcing that he came to bring release to the captives. Jesus is the door through which prisoners walk into freedom. To all who are held captive, he brings the good news that there is release and liberation in relationship with him.
Think about the ways you feel imprisoned. Your captor may be a habit you can’t break, or a relationship that keeps you a victim of sorts. Maybe you are locked up within the consequences of an earlier bad choice, or in a body that houses sickness or disease.
It is death in its many forms that hold us captive. Defeat and despair are the guards that march sentry around our souls, whispering to us that the cell we inhabit is locked forever, don’t even try to escape; the bars that confine us are unbreakable and unbendable; the door is shut and sealed, and there is no key to fit it.
But dear Elle, these are all lies! Jesus has turned the table – his death took death captive! His resurrection swung wide open the prison door and the bars that formerly held us now melt like the illusions they are, and we can walk into freedom. This is the truth!
Consider this good news – in Jesus you are free to do whatever you want! The wonder is that in Jesus and with Jesus what you want will lead to life and away from death. Freedom, comes not by abandoning rules and laws, but by embracing them; trusting that God has established them for your good. If God has asked some obedience of you, you can be sure it is the Lord’s love that prompts this request. True freedom is experienced when you are bound by obedience.
Unlike you and I, there are some who are literally held captive, through such things as wrongs they have done or because of unjust powers. Does this promise of Jesus hold true for them? How does Jesus, incarnate, bring them release? First of all, in their spirits. They are connected to the love of God through Christ Jesus and no other authority can determine their eternal outcome or their present joy. Sadly, some will physically die as prisoners and on that day they will realize in their person what they have experienced in their spirit, the freedom of a beloved child of God. And God’s spirit active in us will encourage us to remember these temporally imprisoned friends through our prayers, our visits to them and our work for justice.
May the freedom Christ bought you bring you joy and abandon.
With you in the journey,