This is the 4th post in a series titled “Set the Captives Free.” We’ve been talking about walking in the freedom that Jesus died to give us. So many of us in the Body of Christ get caught up in personal bondage that takes our focus off of God.
The enemy slips in and catches our attention with insecurities, lack, fear, guilt, shame, and condemnation. He tries to steal our identity. If we don’t know who we are in Christ, we can get caught in his trap and it’s there that we neglect our call from Him.
We’ve talked about ways that we can get free and set others free. After the initial post, the second article is about knowing God. It’s important to know who He is. Here is a link to that article. The third article is about knowing His great love for us. Understanding His love is critical to the transformation that He longs to do in each of us. Here is a link to that article.
Today we’ll explore what truly happened the day that Jesus died.
To walk in freedom, we need to have a better understanding of the power of the cross and how it relates to our walk.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In Matthew 28:18 above, Jesus tells the disciples that He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth showing us that He took the authority back from Satan the minute He died. Satan gained authority when Adam and Eve handed it to him in the Garden of Eden. In the two verses in Genesis below, we see that it was God’s initial plan for man to govern the earth and reign over all created things.
27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
But we know that it wasn’t long at all that Satan slithered in and conned them out of that authority. He could not steal the authority but he could con them into giving it to him and that’s just what they did. And only Jesus could regain that authority from Satan. Thank You, Jesus!
Jesus was fully man as well as fully God.
When He came to earth to walk with us, He chose to leave His divinity and walk in the flesh as man. He showed us a perfect picture of how we would walk in our flesh after His resurrection and ascension.
Jesus walked IN the power of the Holy Spirit and He has given us that same ability today. How do we know that He walked in the power of the Holy Spirit? Let’s look at the Word:
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
As soon as Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit settled on Him.
We have further confirmation in the Scripture that records His temptation in the desert.
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
Luke 4:1-2 (emphasis mine)
So Jesus had to walk among us as fully man to be the One who could truly walk without sin. Also He did this to give us a role model to set our sights on imitating. Because He walked without sin, God’s redemption plan is absolutely beautiful. He fulfilled the totality of the Law.
The Father’s love for us is so great, He couldn’t stand to leave us in spiritual darkness.
From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, He had this redemption plan in mind for us. Only a loving Father can save us when we do not deserve to be saved. Only a Father with such compassion and empathy for His children can put this plan into place. He loves us that much. Believe it. This is truth!
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
When Jesus died on the cross, He took our place. I know we all have heard these words before. But let’s stop a minute and focus on what that means.
Jesus had to be spiritually separated from His Father.
He had to be spiritually separated from His Father so that we never have to be separated from Him. Even though He wasn’t separated from His Father for long, for a brief time, He knew the pain of that separation so that we never have to know that pain.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The cross holds the very power of God.
When we stake our belief in the work Jesus did on the cross, we are believing God for so much more. The cross is the very power of God.
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18
When Jesus died on the cross, we died with Him. When He rose from the grave, we rose with Him. Understanding this is vital to walking in freedom. Our flesh and sinful nature died with Jesus. And we were resurrected with new life in Christ!
14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.
When we live by the power of the cross, we are new people of God.
The only other time in Scripture that we see a new people of God is in the Garden of Eden when God created Adam and Eve. But we are no longer children of Adam and Eve. Because of the work Jesus did on the cross, we are new creations – a new race of people – in Christ.
I’m going to stop here with this powerful truth. We are no longer the sinful man. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus. IN CHRIST JESUS. In Christ. Please spend some time focusing on what this means.
Allow this knowledge to become heart knowledge.
When it does, it will transform your life.
We’ll continue with this series of setting the captives free with our last two posts:
- Knowing who we are in Jesus.
- Knowing our assignment.
Here is my prayer for all of us today:
Thank You for Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your great love for each of Your children. Help each of us obtain heart knowledge of the powerful, life-saving, life-changing work of the cross. We ask that You pour truth into each of us to replace those things that are not of You such as fear, guilt, shame, condemnation. We know that You sent Jesus to die for us so that we could be free from these things.
Teach us what that freedom is. Continue to work in each of our hearts. Create in us pure hearts and enable us to live holy lives that are pleasing to You and You alone. Surround each of us with friends and family who will encourage and love us. People who will help us become the people You desire us to be. For all this and so much more we are forever grateful. To You alone goes the glory.
In Christ Jesus’ name we pray.
Stay in the Light and the Love always,