Now He was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons." ... But [Jesus], knowing their thoughts, said to them ... "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil." (Luke 11:14-15, 17a, 20-22)
When is it a good thing to be a robber? When you're robbing the original robber, of course!
And that is the way Jesus describes Himself when it comes to the devil and his power. The devil is strong, very strong, and he has many stolen things in his power. They include men, women, and children—human beings whom God made and loves, but whom the devil has enslaved and kept in darkness. He doesn't want to let them go free. He guards them day and night.
But then Jesus comes—and He is much stronger than the devil. He attacks the devil and overcomes him. He breaks Satan's grip on us and sets us all free. And now whoever belongs to Jesus is not a slave, but a child of God.
This is a good way to look at what Jesus was doing on the cross. Through His own death and resurrection, He overcame the power of evil. He broke Satan's grip on us. And He set us all free.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for setting me free. Amen.
* Does it surprise you to think about Jesus attacking and fighting and winning? Why or why not?
* When have you felt like a slave?
* How has Jesus helped you?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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