Proverbs 31 12-31-21

From kidnapping to burglary–Jesus used some extreme illustrations. They all form one great, big picture of salvation.

17 She dresses herself with strength [metaphor] and makes her arms strong.

Yesterday, we saw how we are to become slaves to each other and how Jesus set the bar high for us. He also used the word picture of a ransom, which was what they called the purchase of slaves. That picture was to teach us that Christ bought us out of slavery. This transaction is a good illustration, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s read the next word picture of Christ’s work on the cross:

27 But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. Mark 3:27

Here is another use of imagery describing what Jesus did on the cross. He bound Satan and then took us as plunder! Here it is again in Matthew 12:29,

28 But if I cast out the demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or, how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

The book of Revelation gives us a good illustration of Christ’s work on the cross. We get a good idea of what really happened from Revelation 1:17-18,

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Jesus now owns death and Hades. He has been given all authority (Matthew 28:18). He has bound the strong man, and He has purchased us from slavery to sin (Romans 6:6) and the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15). We are now seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). Each of these word pictures could be taken literally, but since some of them seem to oppose each other, we must step back and see them from a larger perspective. Taken as a whole, we begin to see salvation as a diamond with many facets, each facet showing us a part of salvation that makes up the whole. (Another word picture!)

What a wondrous thing the Father has done for us through His Son, Jesus!

Abba, may You continue to open our eyes that we may see wonderful things in Your Word. May we remember that Jesus is the Word incarnate and that we are to run everything through the viewpoint of Jesus. May we seek Your face even as we seek Your truth. Amen.

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