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Christ, the Almighty Deliverer

(Hebrews 2:5-18)

Lesson 2 -- third quarter 2004
June 13, 2004

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2004, Christian Light Publications

Are you bound?

Chains. How effectively they keep prisoners secured. Rattled by hapless captives, their oppressive clanking echoes through history and literature. But the most oppressive chains produce neither clank nor rattle. I have in mind chains such as bitterness, anger, fear, suspicion, self, and habits. Do you find yourself impaired and restrained by chains such as those? Maybe you despair of ever being free. About the time you think you have finally shed them for good . . . Clink, clank!

The bad news is that these chains will effectively resist all your efforts against them. Your puny little toolbox simply hasn't the tools for the job. And even you had the right tool, your pitiful little muscles wouldn't be able to work it successfully. My friend, what you need is someone to come along and cut those chains off of you.

The good news is that God expects you to be free from sin and self and all those other related chains. What's more, God so wishes for you to be free from those chains that He sent a Deliverer to your rescue.

Surely one of the most frightening and disheartening prospects a captive could face is the possibility that his deliverer will be unable to set him free. Is my anger, bitterness, and suspicion too strong for Jesus? Could it be that Jesus will meet His match in the chains of my own self?

Well . . . what do you suppose were the strongest chains that ever bound a person? For the sake of the point waiting to be made here, let's call them death and hell. And they held Jesus (Acts 2:31). Surely this was Satan's grandest hour. By all appearances, he had all the advantages. If he could keep Jesus, he could declare himself the new, true Almighty. But Jesus was victorious, and that not just barely -- Jesus overcame with power and great glory. His victory was so complete and so decisive that when He rid Himself of those restraints, He brought their keys along with Him (Rev. 1:18)!

That's more good news! Since He could free Himself from such chains, then He has what it takes to free me from any chains that hold me. Do you understand this?! He has the keys to the locks on my chains! Yours too! He can unlock us from bondage to sin, self, anger, fear, suspicion, bitterness, habits, and all such things.

Our divine Deliverer experienced the apparent defeat of the cross and the tomb so that He might utterly triumph over both. Speaking in a figure, He allowed Satan to shackle Him with his best and strongest chains so that He might prove His might against them . . . and take the keys for our deliverance.

Jesus rose again from the grave so that we might live in freedom from and victory over everything evil and sinful. As Romans 4:25 puts it, He "was raised again for our justification." To me that means the power of His resurrection working in me makes me more and more just, righteous, and godly. If His only mission was to forgive my sins, then His death and blood accomplished that...He need not have risen from the dead. But He also came to free me from sin so that as His resurrection power works in me, I will have less and less need for forgiveness. That's deliverance. That's good news!

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