I remember hearing Beth Grant, who co-founded Project Rescue to free people from sexual slavery, speak about foregone fundraising options. She had been advised that she could raise much more for her cause if the name of Jesus was removed from her message. With steady voice and fiery eyes she told us, “There is no rescue without Jesus.”

The Israelites of Herod’s time, much like many people today, were fresh out of options and fresh out of hope. Their national allies betrayed them, their own spiritual leaders were corrupt, their attempts to be righteous under the Law failed, and the false gods they worshiped put them to shame. Disappointment had taught them not to trust that there would be any rescue.

And then Rescue came.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,

for the LORD has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted

and to proclaim that captives will be released

and prisoners will be freed.”

– Isaiah 61:1, NLT

“I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers… I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:7-10, NIV).

When we had tried every other way and found ourselves still trapped, Jesus entered our humanity to break us out of the stronghold of sin, from the inside. In gentleness and meekness, He conquered – and opened a Way for us to escape our oppressor and live freely, fully, richly.

May we never shrink from saying the sweet name of the Rescuer to those who are still in shackles.