Face In The Dirt

You crowned him with glory and honor and subjected everything under his feet.  Hebrews 2:8

The word subjected does not describe something pleasant.  Prisoners are subjected to cruel treatment.  New military recruits and new fraternity members can be subjected to bullying, even hazing.  When Hebrews says that everything is in subjection ~ under Christ’s feet, Jesus’ rank is being shown.

In ancient times, those victorious in battle would hunt down, and then present the leaders of the opposing army.  Subjecting them to a posture of submission, they were forced to lie face down in the dirt.  The highest ranking commander of the winning army would put his foot on the back of their necks as a sign of conquest.  Usually, they then lost their lives.

Jesus, our conquering King, rules over every principality, dominion, every ruler and authority in high places.  These terms encompass every rank and level of authority in Satan’s kingdom.  While we are no match for the power of the enemy, he is no match for our Commander.  Every one of our spiritual enemies is defeated and in subjection to His authority.  That is comforting when we feel the forces of evil coming against us.  Yes, it is a daily battle.  Yes, I need a daily reminder that the war was won at Calvary.  And here’s the thing.  Satan will act like he still has all the power if I let him.  The church needs to be the church and call his bluff.  We have been given the authority to enforce the victory of Calvary in Jesus’ name.  We use our mouths, with the sword of the Word on our tongues, to put him in his place.  At the name of Jesus, and at the sound of His Word, he trembles and flees.

Remember the movie, The Passion?  At the very beginning, music plays softly and we see Jesus in the garden praying.  It is a lush, blue/green world and all seems peaceful.  All of a sudden, a serpent rounds the trunk of the tree that Jesus is kneeling beside and with a deliberate force of violence, Jesus stomps on the head of the snake.  This is a powerful reminder that Jesus does not tolerate evil.  He threw Satan (and all the angels who defected with him) out of heaven.  He defeated him again at the cross and removed all power and authority from him.  The authority Adam had lost so long ago in the Garden of Eden was given to Satan.  He admitted it outright when he told Jesus to worship him in the wilderness.  “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  Worship before me and it will all be yours.”   Luke 4:6   Oh, the arrogance!

My father in law, a gifted evangelist, signed every letter with this closing ~ On the victory side.  We do not need to cower in fear in the presence of enemies we cannot see.  There is no suspense.  There is no tug of war.  Victory has already been declared and it’s up to each of us to declare it again and again to this arrogant foe who is hoping we’ll forget the power of the blood of the Lamb.

Martin Luther captured this subjugation in just one line of his hymn, A Mighty Fortress.  “One little word shall fell him.” 

I know my place Jesus.  I am not clever to fight the battle.  I am not eloquent against his cunning speech.  Your name and Your Word are my weapons. It was enough for You and it’s enough for me.  Make me a mighty arrow in your quiver.  Amen

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