Captive set free 

Mark 5v1-21: At the core of this story is the truth that JESUS CHANGES PEOPLE. No one one is beyond the grace of God. Nothing is too difficult for Him to bring freedom too. It couldn’t get any worse for a human being: This man lived among the tombs in the place of death. Parents would tell their kids "don’t go near the tombs that’s where the crazy naked guy lives". The town had given up on this man. There’s no hope for him.
 
They tried to shackle him, he broke the shackles. Nothing had worked or helped. He’s an intimidating force. Now the only solution is to avoid him The goal of the demons is to destroy the person's true identity as a man made in the image of God. The man had all but disappeared, He is now more like an animal. He endures social isolation, self-destruction, and torment.
 
He is hopeless and helpless. But all that is about to change with the arrival of Jesus.
 
What no shackles could ever do the authority of Jesus does.
It’s a legion but makes no dent in Jesus' authority.
Jesus saves him (more than forgiveness) restores his right mind. He was a prisoner of war a captive, a hostage that needed releasing.
 
NOW sitting there clothed. Released. Shaved, clean, dressed. He has a new identity. He’s sitting at Jesus feet and no longer living among the dead.

Jesus does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We need a savior. No one, nothing is too difficult for Jesus. Don’t lose hope for anyone, and never lose hope for yourself. Are there areas in your life where you still live amongst the tombs in helplessness, tormented? Shackled + bound
 
Secret sins, habitual sins. Places where you believe lies, live in darkness. Have you given Satan a foothold through unforgiveness or anger?  Relational conflict. Unforgiveness destroys, torments, bounds, shackles and destroys.
 
TODAY He speaks a word. It doesn’t have to be like this. Being bound is not normal Christianity.
 
He whispers, Remember the Cross, look back on what I’ve done for you in history. The battle is already won We don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory.
 
His victory is our victory. When Jesus died I died, when Jesus rose I rose, to newness of life. You are a new creature, a new creation, a new person. The old sin shackled you is already dead.
But you don’t know me, my temper etc. Consider this. Trust/believe this, put your faith in this truth. Consider yourself already free.
 
The gospel is complete salvation not through DIY morality, the foundation is the finished work. Maturity then is to have open eyes to what is already true. 
 
Chains of shame of guilt broken now. You can’t punish yourself into freedom. You receive it through Jesus
 
The cross is the hope for ourselves, this is the hope for people. This is the hope for our city. This is the hope for our world.
 
He is commissioned again to engage with people. Jesus wanted the restored man to proclaim what had happened. Go and tell them who you were, who you are, and what I’ve done.
 
Likewise He commissions us go tell friends and family about the mercy of Jesus.
 
 
 
  

Jamie Lee, 31/08/2015