KEY SCRIPTURE Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Our scripture describes a conquered prisoner on Death Row more than a ruler. Jesus came humbly as a lamb to the slaughter, but was He a typical humble lamb in every instance?
Whether dealing with the Pharisees and scribes or whipping the avarice-ridden hyenas from the temple, does it seem like he was oppressed? Was He a sheep to the slaughter or the Son of God Almighty beating the sin out of His Father's house?
Jesus is not the Lamb but the Lion when it comes to beating addictions and other troubles in our lives. Most people haven't been incarcerated, but everybody has been in a prison, and some may still be there. Often we find ourselves behind spiritual and emotional bars through fear, anxiety, depression, alcohol and other drugs, sexual issues, poor relationships, and our past. But Jesus can whip those things out of our temple if we let Him. He is a lamb when dealing with our feelings but a lion when ejecting those things that seek to control us.
One of the reasons he died on the cross was to show us the way to inner freedom. He understands who is behind taking over our temple and wants them all out. Matthew 21:13, "And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." Devilish people filled God's temple with influences other than what God desired. Likewise, spiritual and emotional issues seem to do the same to us.
When we come to Christ, our 'temple'—our being—is changed from a corrupt residence to a house of prayer. For various reasons, after we're saved, we either let ungodly stuff in or past issues haunt us and we're still dealing with them. Either way, our Lord and Saviour knows their origin and wants them all out. We can replace all fears and woes by prayer and peace if we let Jesus the lion loose.
We have examples from times past, where they let David loose with his sling, and Ehud loose with his dagger, and Jael with her tent peg and hammer, and Abraham loose with his warriors, and Othniel loose with his sword, and Shamgar with his ox's goad. Letting the lion loose will beat the enemy.
Jesus doesn't want us overlorded by other influences. We need peace. Our spirits cry out for it, and it's precisely what Jesus delivers. But to get peace, we must draw the sword on those issues. The Christ within us can beat any and all Goliaths. One flat stone from a sling took out an entire enemy army.
I recently read about Albert Jacka, Australia's first WWI Victoria Cross recipient. My grandfather was in the same battalion, Jacka's Mob. How did Jacka get his medal? All his comrades in the trench had been killed, leaving only him. Seven enemy soldiers leapt into his trench to finish off the last one, Jacka, and take the trench. Seven! He killed five with his rifle and two with his bayonet. No thought of surrender.
In WWII, Churchill cried, "We shall never surrender. We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and in the streets; we shall fight in the hills." Although a Goliath from Germany was coming for them, they released the lion within and fought and won an unwinnable war.
Just because the enemy seems greater, we don't have to surrender, cower, or lie down and die. We can fight for the Kingdom within and win. Our house is to be a house of prayer, peace, love, unity of the spirit, wisdom, and knowledge, as well as a fellowship with our Heavenly Father so deep we cannot begin to understand. That is why the enemy seeks to put his influence of hatred, fear, anxiety and fleshly works inside our temple. He hates God and us and seeks to destroy what God is building in our lives. But does it mean he will win over us?
These inner battles are already won by Jesus' death and resurrection. So let loose the lion of God.
Dear Lord, more times than not, I think of your meekness and try to follow your softer qualities. Rarely do I think of the power within that meekness. Please show me scriptures of power when I need them, and help me let your overcoming power seep into every part of my life.
Photo by Jean Wimmerlin