“. . . to release the oppressed.” Luke 4:18d (NIV)
Who are the oppressed? Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the verb oppress as “1) to weigh heavily on the mind, spirits, etc. of burden, 2) to keep down by cruel or unjust use of authority; tyrannize over”
Again we see oppression in two different lights.
We have witnessed political oppression when we heard of a nation taking over a smaller, weaker country. We read in history about the religious oppression of the Jewish people in Europe in the days prior to and during World War II. In the late summer of 1990, we heard of a middle east nation overtaking an smaller one in that region. Our government leaders weighed the options of bearing arms against the aggressor country.
Later, we heard of government in the same part of the world that took away the rights of women, taking away their jobs and allowing them out of their homes only if they were covered from head to foot. I was saddened by what we saw.
Sin, if allowed to run rampant in our lives can oppress God’s people. But Jesus came to show us we can strive to live better lives by staying close to Him. God tells us to take His yoke upon us. (Matthew 11:2930)
The enemy uses the memory of our transgressions to keep us down. He comes into our lives and whispers, “Do you remember. . . .” Satan brings to our attention what shames us. We can’t be vulnerable to the adversary, if we turn our sins over to Jesus when we realize what we have done. All it takes is to say “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”