Our verse for today comes from John 10:39, ” Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. “
I have never heard of Erik Weisz, and certainly could not pick him out of a lineup. Seeing as he died some forty years before I was born, I clearly have never met him. But somehow I know about him, and you probably do, too. Chances are, though, that you know him as Harry Houdini, the escape artist and magician. Houdini rose to fame around the turn of the 20th century and continued performing his stunts and exhibitions until his death in 1926. He first became known for his ability to escape from handcuffs and shackles, and would tour the country escaping from prison cells. Eventually, he made famous such death-defying feats as the Chinese water torture cell, where he would hang upside-down, suspended in stocks in a tank filled with water. Also, many times he escaped from the inside of a nailed and roped packing crate in which he was handcuffed and shackled, before the weighted-down crate was lowered into the river. And one of his most popular stunts had him hang upside-down from a tall building or construction crane, bound in a straightjacket, and free himself as thousands of onlookers watched from below. Perhaps surprisingly, Houdini did not die from a failed escape, rather from Peritonitis associated with appendicitis.
I’ve escaped a few things over the years, but nothing as threatening or dangerous as Houdini experienced, and certainly not any situations I intentionally put myself in. Jesus put Himself in harm’s way, fully intent on negotiating the wiles of those who chose to become His enemies. And He escaped their grasps each time, right up until He gave Himself over to their hand. But Christ can too easily escape us if we are not careful to cling tightly to Him. His presence we must seek, and in His ears we must speak the conversations of our hearts. And those other things we clutch, the ones that stroke our ego or feed the chip on our shoulder, those must be surrendered. That is our only means of escape.
As we seek Him today, experience the release of being set free from that which has you bound.