Those Chains Gone

christian renewal church

It’s Jerusalem and it’s 33AD. The whole earth is in mourning. A lone cat howled high up on the wall of the old city. The normally joyful Sabbath wasn’t. Even the Romans stayed within their courtyards. All except a special assignment of soldiers who kept guard over the tomb of the one the crowd called Jesus.

Death’s insatiable appetite had swallowed the ultimate prize. Yours and Israel’s hope. With Jesus dead there’s no hope. All of mankind was identified with Him in His death. God the Father ordained it. You and I were there along with heaven’s treasure, mingled with the blood and dirt. Together as one. Like the scapegoat wandering in the desert of Moses’ day, abandoned, suffering; the sting of the Father’s rejection clawed at the soul of the King of Kings as He descended down into the pit of hell, where the taunts and jeers of demons rose to the threshold of pain.

The One who knew no sin had identified with your sin so completely, that you and He were now indistinguishable. This separation from the Father was hell. After forever (or was it just three days and three nights) our punishment was complete. Justice was done. The anger of the Father was spent.

At last the Father spoke, warm and inviting and filled with compassion. “Let Him go!” “Let My Son go!” “Let you go!” A Holy Spirit whisper floated down through the soul of Jesus. “Proclaim the victory.” As He opened His mouth the sacrificial lamb – willingly trapped deep within the realms of hell – became a roaring lion.

You and I were there along with heaven’s treasure, mingled with the blood and dirt. Together as one.

In the dry, waterless places the demons screeched. The sound of their raw fear clawed at the darkness of their hell-hole they called home. After what seemed like an eternity, the cavernous reverberations created by layer upon layer of scream ceased, and all you could hear was the occasional pathetic whimper. There was no regrouping. This time they understood their eternal sentence. Signed in blood. Sealed. Delivered. Doomed forever. Jesus had roared.

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The death-conqueror had risen! All of mankind was identified with Him in His death, but only those who believe are identified with Him in His resurrection.

Believers are a living part of Jesus, and as part of Him, we also took part in the victory and the total defeat of Satan in judgement, death, separation and resurrection. When Jesus grabbed the keys of death and hell from Satan and crashed out of there, we shared the victory. When, triumphant, He ascended into heaven and sat down on His throne, we ascended with Him. We are seated in heavenly places with Him. Believe and make this victory your own. Believe and make forgiveness your own. Believe and make eternal life your own. You can have your cake and eat it too!

(what you just read is an excerpt from the 2016 novel “Broken”)

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