By Roxanne Smith

O Key of David and scepter of the House of Israel; What you open no one else can shut; And what you shut no one can open. O come and lead the captives from prison; Free those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Keys in the days of Isaiah were very large, made of wood, and often carried on the shoulder or around the neck as a status symbol; a symbol of authority. They unlocked the king’s treasure house where the riches of the kingdom were kept. And the one who had the key had the authority to use the treasures for the good of the kingdom.

Alternatively they locked prisoners away to protect the rest of society from harm.

After Adam and Eve fell into sin and were banished from the Garden of Eden a key was needed to access God’s forgiving mercy. A key was needed to unlock the treasures of God’s kingdom: rich treasures of forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Jesus, the promised Messiah, is that key.

Jesus is also the key which will one day lock evil away forever, protecting God’s people from harm.

Pastor Rossow got personal as he challenged us to imagine Jesus visiting our homes. Actually showing up and ringing our doorbells. How would we feel about letting Him come in? Which rooms would we want Jesus to see? Are there rooms that we wouldn’t want Him to see?

Pastor’s probing continued. Is there a room where we are hiding something that’s not good for us? Is there a dark corner of the basement where a secret is kept? Something that chains us? Something that we need Jesus to unlock for us, but that is going to hurt?

It was pretty quiet in church as he gave us all time to reflect.

Is there a dark corner of the basement where a secret is kept?

I know what it is for me. My darkest place holds fear. I’ve been living in a pain-filled body for 25 years. Each year the pain gets a little worse as my body is aging. Sometimes fear of the future grabs me and makes me panic.

spineIf you saw my x-rays, you’d get a picture of a very altered spine. 8 enormous screws that go from the back of my spine to just behind my organs. Bone, plastic, and metal where soft tissue should be. Metal wire in a long figure of 8 loop. A completely fused, rigid spine. Getting more painful every year.

So my prison is fear. Fear that I won’t be able to stand it. Fear that God won’t help me. Fear that borders on claustrophobia of being trapped in this pain.

As Pastor Rossow had us visualize our darkest place, I thought about how fear chains me. How heavy it can get. How much it can suffocate my faith that God will help me. How much I need help fighting against it.

And Jesus wants in.

When Jesus dragged his cross uphill to Golgotha before his crucifixion, he was dragging the Key of David. It was the key on his shoulder, as Isaiah had foretold.

My darkest place holds fear.

“I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Isaiah 22:22

spine 2When he did that, when Jesus shouldered that cross, he was thinking of me. He was thinking of you. He was laser-like focused on winning that key by dying for me, so that he could unlock my prison of pain and offer me a new perfect body. That’s in my future.

But even now Jesus wants to unchain me from my fear. He wants to set me free. I will take up fear again, but He will set me free as many times as I need it. I’m not just stuck with fear.

How about you? What is your darkest place?

Ask the Key of David. He will come.