Ephesians 4:7-10 But to each one of us, grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
When Christ died on the cross, what the devil thought was a victory for darkness was instead its defeat. Christ gave his life as a sacrifice for all mankind, and through His sacrifice, a mighty victory took place in the supernatural that forever provided hope for all. This passage of Christ’s victory comes from a quote in the Old Testament. Psalms 68:17-19 A Praise of God’s power and victory. God took captivity captive.
What is this captivity in this scripture that Christ took captive?
Captivity of the Old Testament saints.
When the saints died before Christ’s perfect sacrifice, they did not go to heaven. They went to a place of peace and comfort, a holding place possibly in lower earth. The righteous would be sent to “Abraham’s Bosom or side. The evil was taken to Hades, where there was the torment of flames. Read about this in Luke 16:19-26, the story of Lazarus and the beggar who died and awoke in this place. In the Old Testament, as the saints died, it says they were “gathered to their fathers” or “slept with their people” When Christ died on the cross for all sins, His blood provided the perfect sacrifice to cleanse hearts for God. Jesus went down and took the saints who had died in Christ with him to heaven.
Read Matthew 27:50-54, as the temple veil was torn, some of the dead saints who Christ had freed from Abraham’s Bosom, appeared to many and preached in the temples. Today, when Christians die, they are with God. 2 Corinthians 5:5-8 “ Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
Captivity – of death and the power of sin
When Christ died on the cross and paid the perfect sacrifice for all sin. Christ descended into all creation. Christ moved freely over all places Satan and his demons claimed. Colossians 2:15 “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Satan tried to kill Jesus at birth, wanted to kill him when preaching, tried to destroy Him in Gasthemene, tried to keep Him in the grave by a large rock and Roman guard. But Christ arose, and nothing could stop him. He went through all Satan’s domains of death, sin, hopelessness and defeated them by His blood.
Captivity – Personal bondages
Christ did ascend into heaven. But He also descended to us. The Blood of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit has descended from heaven to take captive what is captivating us. He has come to set us free. Christ wants to set us free and lift us to heavenly places, as described in Ephesians 1.
Satans influence in the world and our desires puts us into bondage. We are captivated by anger, pride, unforgiveness, abuse, pain, depression, and other bondages. We are bound. If we could set ourselves free, we would. But the power of sin is too strong for us to overcome. Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected in power. He has ascended in great glory to the heavens, but he has also come down to you. He has come to offer to take captive what has captured you.
Steps of freedom:
- Accept Jesus as Lord – Faith in him
- Learn about Jesus – Read about Jesus
- Trust in Him. Ask for strength.
- The Holy Spirit and the Blood of Christ will strengthen you and set you free.
Let Christ come a set you free so your lightnside can shine in victory.