Jesus led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to His people. In Paul’s brief reference to Psalm 68, questions come up. Including: “Who are the captives?”
Captives are those held bound in darkness by the prince of darkness to do his bidding. Originally man was innocent. Satan stole our innocence and filled that void with lies which led us away from the light. Being in the dark doesn’t mean that we don’t want to go the right direction, it just means we can’t see. Therefore, we constantly stumble. We’re literally trapped with no hope of finding our way out.
Leading a crowd of captives may be viewed as having one of those “now and later” meanings. For example, when Jesus destroyed the penalty of sin on the cross, he took the power of sin away from Satan and his whole dark entourage. He now leads this feeble captive gang of hoodlums, in public view, exposing them for what they are.
And, He also leads those of us who choose to be reconciled with Him out of the darkness into the light. Under His mighty Lordship, we’re, allowing ourselves to be led by Him as former captives, now set free. Seeing clearly, we’re empowered to choose our path today. We can continue to move toward the light or slip away from our loving Lord and leader and head back into the captivity of darkness. As maturing Christians, we continue to move to the center (toward the light) and are realizing and enjoying the gifts.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12 NIV