You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.
For the past two years, Rebekah Gregory has had nightmares. She has had good reasons to have them.
In 2013, Rebekah was standing near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man with a heavy backpack was standing close to her. At one point the backpack even brushed up against her. It was the backpack that contained a homemade bomb.
Minutes later, the bomb went off. The blast threw Rebekah backwards. Her body was in tatters. She remembers an emergency responder telling her she was going to be okay and then yelling, “We have an amputee.”
Rebekah went to the sentencing phase for the surviving Boston bomber. She entered the courtroom. As she took the stand to tell her account, she was also, for the first time, looking into the eyes of the man who had brought so much horror into her life.
After she gave her testimony, a powerful thing happened. As she later wrote, she realized she “wasn’t afraid anymore.” For Rebekah, her confrontation with the bomber was just what she needed for her fear to go away.
Because of our sin, we live in a world soaked in fear. In such an environment, fear can easily become our master. Painful episodes from our past can haunt us in the present. Anxiety over what others think of us can dominate our thoughts. Uncertainties about everything from finances and family to our job and health can poison our minds with dread.
And that’s why Jesus came. When our Champion arrived on this earth, however, he did not just look at the source of our fear in the face. He crushed it by taking the entire toxic mess upon himself and paying for it in full at the cross.
It comes as no surprise that the phrase, “Don’t be afraid,” is a repeated directive from our God throughout the Bible. He’s trying to tell us that because Jesus has already confronted and crushed the source of our fears, you and I don’t have to be afraid anymore.
Lord Jesus, the ultimate source of my fear is sin. Through your death and resurrection, the source of my fear is now gone. By your Spirit, move me to remember this. Amen.