"Jesus has come as the mighty Redeemer. See now the threatening strong one disarmed! Jesus breaks down all the walls of death's fortress, Brings forth the pris'ners triumphant, unharmed. Satan, you wicked one, own now your master! Jesus has come! He, the mighty Redeemer!"
Isaiah 55:8 says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD." God does not always accomplish His will in ways that we would use if we were in charge of things (and we can be thankful that we are not in charge!). Scripture tells us about God's unexpected ways. A cheater named Jacob tricked his brother into trading away his birthright. Even though he deceived his father, Jacob received the firstborn's blessing; the promised Messiah would be one of Jacob's descendants. God used Gideon and a small band of 300 soldiers to defeat the army of Midian. Another victory in battle belonged to the Lord as a young shepherd boy with a slingshot brought down a giant warrior.
When the time came to do battle with the deadliest foes of all—sin, Satan, and death itself, God sent "the mighty Redeemer," Jesus His Son, into the world. Jesus was not the Savior that many people in Israel expected. The mighty Redeemer came, not as a great warrior, but as a newborn infant. What kind of battle plan was that? Yet when the Redeemer grew to adulthood, He began to disarm the demonic forces of Satan, the "threatening strong one" (see Matthew 12:28-29). Alone in the wilderness, Jesus defied the devil and his temptations. The Redeemer cast out demons, who cried out in despair as they recognized their Master, "Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God" (Luke 4:34). Jesus healed and forgave people, setting them free from bondage to Satan.
The strong one and his demonic legions fought back. The powers of darkness closed in around the Son of God, but that, too, happened according to God's unexpected battle plan. The mighty Redeemer hung beaten and helpless, nailed to a cross. By His death, the innocent Son broke down "all the walls of death's fortress." Our crucified and risen Redeemer brought us "triumphant, unharmed" out of bondage to Satan. In this unexpected way, God "has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13-14). Satan, the wicked one, was forced to own—to acknowledge—his Master.
Even though the defeated, demonic foe still rages against us and seeks to separate us from our Savior, we are safe in the hands of our Lord, who stands with us and arms us for the fight. Wielding the Spirit's sword, the Word of God, we seek to resist temptation as our Lord did. Together we stand firm in Christ Jesus, offering up our own battle cry of praise: "Jesus has come! He, the mighty Redeemer!"
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, keep me safe in Your care and help me by Your Spirit to stand firm against the foe. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn "Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure," which is number 533 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. What unexpected ways has God worked in your life or in the life of someone you know?
2. How was Jesus not the Savior people were looking for? What would many have preferred? Why?
3. How is Jesus exactly the type of Savior we needed?
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