I recently read that during the fall of Cambodia the Communists used a simple but very effective way of controlling their prisoners as they forced them to walk through the jungle. Using a long needle they would thread something like fish line through the palms of each of their captives. If a prisoner lagged behind or tried escaping, the pain would be excruciating for all.
When people think of being under sin’s bondage they often think of the “big and dirty” sins like murder, adultery, addictions. They picture sin’s bonds as heavy duty chains. But the devil is smart. He often controls people like those Communists in Cambodia controlled their captives – with slender threads of pride, bitterness, and the like. One of his most common “threads” is self righteousness. That was the thread the devil used to bind the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
What is so devious about all this is that it’s very difficult for both the person bound and others to see that they are truly captives. Often nothing looks amiss. Things look good. So much so that the captive doesn’t even try to escape and thus doesn’t feel much pain. Life is not that bad. But whether their bonds are seen or not, they are captives of sin and are walking on the broad way that leads to destruction.
They too need to be rescued. That is what Jesus did. He came and defeated the devil. He broke sin’s power. He cut the bonds enslaving us. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2: 14-15)
It is my prayer that everybody sees that all sins – even the nearly invisible ones – are deadly. That they not only see them, but then see that in Jesus and in him alone, is deliverance.