The word take away in Greek literally means to lift up. Jesus lifts up our sins, because sin weighs down on us. It burdens us and prevents us from being whole. Picture a person walking and all of a sudden a huge rock falls on him. This person cannot be saved unless the hug rock is lifted from him. The huge rock is sin and we are that person. We need someone to lift sin from us so we can be saved. While sin bears us down, Jesus lifts us up. The Second Reading tells us: let us approach the throne of grace with boldness so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Jesus is the only One who can save us.
The first letter of St John tells us Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. The death of Jesus destroys the works of the devil which is sin, death and suffering. He also said every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that dissolves Jesus is not of God. We cannot save ourselves, not by our works, not by our intelligence, not by our giving. We are saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. We cannot defeat these evil spirits on our own. We need to rely on the power of God to win this battle. The occult, like fortune telling, witchcraft, mediums, ouija boards, astrology, horoscopes, satanic worship, are all weapons of darkness. Anyone who practices them, even as a game, opens themselves to evil. These are real. Those who practice them practice idolatry which is detestable to God. If you have participated in these, then turn to Jesus and ask him to free you from the powers of darkness. If you are addicted to pornography, or living with someone you are not married to, turn to Jesus to set you free.
Today, we celebrate our freedom from sin. Turn to Jesus. The door to God’s mercy is open and he will forgive when we repent and turn to him. Do not be afraid, but in confidence, approach God and tell him you seek him, you want the freedom his Son has won for you and tell Jesus to lift up your sin, so he can heal you.
Lord, I know you came to destroy the works of the devil. I know you can set me free. I confess my sins. I reject them and I turn to you. Set me free and give me your new life.