Did you ever watch the 2003 survival thriller Open Water? The movie is loosely based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan who were stranded on the Great Barrier Reef, after their dive boat crew left them behind. They were stuck for hours in shark-infested water all because of an inaccurate headcount. How horrifying to bobble like a piece of chicken for a hungry predator to devour!
I think many live this way today, feeling stranded, afraid the devil is lurking and about to gobble them up. Maybe these fears arise when you’re alone, and the house is dark and empty, and a past failure flashes across your mind. Or, you’re worried the enemy is at your door ready to take possession of your soul. One night I received a call from a church member who had just given her life to Jesus. She was afraid the devil would trick her into cursing the Holy Spirit, causing her to lose her salvation.
Our enemy wants us to live caged by fear, sitting on the edge of the ocean, afraid to launch out into the unknown. This lurking sense of dread prevents us from enjoying God’s precious gift of life.
Let’s remember the first Passover again. The destroyer was not permitted to pillage at will. The blood of the lamb was a boundary line, an impassable barrier. On the night death passed through Egypt, every family that trusted in the blood was safe. If the blood of a lamb could do that, how much more the blood of the Lamb of God.
Notice Colossians 2:13-15, “…He forgave us all our sins…he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
The power and authorities Paul refers to are the spiritual forces of evil, the kingdom of darkness, led by our adversary, the devil. This passage tells us four things the cross accomplished for us. First, the record of our wrongs are nailed to the cross. Crucified with Jesus, our past failures can’t speak a condemning word. Second, the cross disarmed Satan and his minions. Jesus’s death and resurrection stripped them of their authority and power. Third, Jesus made a public spectacle of them. The Greek word here is deigmatizó and it’s only used in one other place in Scripture. Luke 1:19 says that Joseph didn’t want to expose Mary and make her a “public spectacle.” Fourth, like a victorious soldier would lead a captive prisoner on parade through the streets of his home town, so Jesus has triumphed over the devil.
On the cross, Jesus was victorious over the great white shark lurking in the waters of life. He’s been caught, stripped of his razor-sharp teeth, held up, photographed, posted on Facebook, and exposed for all to see. He’s on a stringer, being led back to the shore, to meet his final doom. Yes, he’s still in the water. Though he can intimidate, and instill fear, he’s lost his bite. But, all we have to do is resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7). Martin Luther famously wrote in his hymn A Mighty Fortress, “One little word will fell him.”
To encourage us to live in faith and freedom, Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Paul echos this same truth in Romans 8:38-39 declaring that nothing on planet earth or in the universe, can separate us from God’s love. We can swim with confidence through open waters of life fully persuaded of this fact.
The way we use money in our day is changing quickly. We no longer exchange greenbacks or write checks. Our assets are in the cloud. We use apps like Venmo to download our resources. The precious provision of salvation, eternal life, and victory over the devil, is free for the asking. However, its in the cloud. We connect to it by faith, and instantly, a heavenly transaction occurs. We don’t need to plead the blood, or hold up the blood-stained banner of the Lord. We only need to believe in what Christ as already done. So, will you? Will you mark your life with the blood of the Savior? Ephesians 1:7-8 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding.” Today, we can rest in the power of the blood of Jesus.