He was someone’s son, someone’s nephew, someone’s cousin, perhaps someone’s husband, and maybe someone’s father. And everything they knew to do for him had been done—even though it must have been incredibly painful to put your someone you love in chains and have him under constant guard. Still, his condition left them no choice. Others had to protected from him and he had to be protected from himself.
But all of that was history now—it had happened some time ago and none of their measures had worked. With strength reminiscent of Samson but spawned by the hordes of demons inside him, he had broken the chains and removed his shackles on several occasions. Finally, he had gone off to live among the dead. There he cried out and cut himself with stones. If ever someone was haunted, it was this man.
And no one could do anything about it. Satan held the entire this man and the entire community under bondage.
But thankfully the story doesn’t end here. Mark 5:1-20 tells us Jesus arrives on the scene one day and the demons who had held an entire village hostage now know they have met their match. From their first sighting of Him they understand they will no longer will be calling the shots or dictating the destiny of anyone. In fact, they are reduced to pleading that Christ not send them into the Abyss. The man is freed from his bondage at the cost of 2,000 pigs. Unfortunately, the community’s initial response seems to be more sadness about the pigs’ destruction than joy at the man’s deliverance. They ask Jesus to leave, so He does—He won’t stay where He’s not wanted.
The man asks to go with Jesus but He declines to let him. Instead, he is to “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you,” (Mark 5:19).
So that’s what He does. “The man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for Him,” (v. 20).
Mark concludes his narrative of the man by telling us, “And all of the people were amazed.”
And when we think about it—so are we. So amazed that maybe we are ready to take a good look at our lives and the things we allow to haunt us and turn them over to Jesus. He knows exactly what to do with them and has the power to do it.
He’s Lord of the tombs.