Summary: Jesus came to deliver us.
Jesus Came to Deliver Us
Jesus came to overcome darkness. He had victory over evil and death. Jesus came to overcome blindness. He was the truth and he told the truth about God. By illuminating the darkness of the world we are now able to see the truth when we believe in Jesus as the promised Messiah.
Please open your bibles to the first chapter of Colossians. As we come to Colossians chapter 1 verses 9 and 10 tell us that Paul was praying that we would have spiritual wisdom and understanding of the truth so that we could please God, produce good fruit, and know him better. In verse 11 he tells us that we are going to need patience and endurance as well, and he wants us to have joy and to be in constant thanksgiving, because we have been given an inheritance and have been delivered or rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of his Son Jesus who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
Did you know that? As a believer in Christ you have been delivered into His Kingdom already and have been given the same inheritance as Jesus.
Then Paul launches into a recap of what we’ve been looking at the last couple weeks where Jesus is the image of the invisible God, He existed before creation and everything was created through him, even things like kingdoms, rulers and authorities. It was all created through him and for him.
Not only did he create it all, but he also keeps it going. He is head of the church which is now his body, and he was the first one to rise permanently from the dead so that he is preeminent over everything. All the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Him and God has reconciled all things in heaven and on earth to himself by the blood of Christ.
What that last part literally means is that he has already brought everything back to its former perfect state of harmony, the way he created it. Now as we look around, we don’t see that because it’s not fully implemented yet. That will occur at his second advent. But all the work has been done. Essentially we are simply waiting with nature for the unveiling of the New Heaven and Earth. But in the realm of God it has all happened already.
One of the great metaphors Jesus uses to describe this deliverance is the good shepherd. Turn with me to John chapter 10. Let’s read the first 10 verses…
This is clearly another kind of description of this clash between Satan and God. There is a thief and a robber who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. He climbs in through a different way and doesn’t come through the door or gate. But the shepherd comes through the door.
Here Jesus brings the sheep out of the sheep pen which is the world, where everyone is following each other like sheep. The shepherd however delivers the sheep from the pen, not by force, but because the sheep know his voice and simply follow him out. But they will flee from the stranger.
Now his disciples didn’t get this metaphor, and frankly it’s a lot deeper than it appears.
First he’s making it clear that this pen we’re in is not our home. Jesus the shepherd leads the sheep out of the pen, because the thief has snuck in and is destroying the sheep. That is Satan, who we previously heard was the ruler or god of this world.
The other significant thing here is that the sheep know his voice who are his own. This brings up an interesting point that Jesus knows already who will respond to his voice. And as he goes before them, they will follow him.
So to help them and us understand, Jesus explains what he just said by first saying that he is the door or the gate. He says that all who came before him were thieves and robbers, because they didn’t come through him, they were empowered by Satan, and were false prophets and false messiahs, and those who knew Him didn’t follow them.
If anyone enters by Jesus they will go in and out and find pasture and will be saved. Here he is claiming that he is the only way to have life and have it abundantly.
But then as we continue through the next 10 verses we see Jesus claim that not only is he the gate, he is also the shepherd. In fact, often the shepherds would build these round pens out of rocks and bushes and sticks with a small opening that they would actually sleep in, so that they were literally the door.