“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
Last week, Jase and I saw the movie “Free State of Jones” starring Matthew McConaughey. The story chronicles one Mississippi white man’s fight against the prejudice, slavery, violence and murder of his fellow black Americans during the civil war. At one point in the movie, after an emotional scene of brutality towards two teenage white boys who had been following his lead, Newt (McConaughey) looks at his black friend, Moses, and says,
“Moses, are you a nigger?”
“No, I am not.”
“Why are you free?”
“Because no one can own a child of God.”
God created us in his image to live as free people. Why is it that people are still fighting for that freedom every single day? Because there will always be people who pursue their own personal power, control and hatred toward others. Because there will always be evil on this earth; evil in our country; evil in our hometown.
What was freely given to us by our Creator was taken away by those He created.
Today, as we celebrate Independence Day, we remember the blood that was shed for us as Americans. Men and women chose to sacrifice their own lives to give us a life without tyranny. They saw the importance of being an independent nation. How could someone love us enough to die for our earthly freedom? We may never truly understand. But we have someone who does understand. In fact, he understands fully, completely and exactly how it feels to die for someone else. Jesus, our Redeemer, walked that dirt road with a heavy wooden cross on his back, beaten, ridiculed, spit on, and ultimately hung with nails driven through his hands and feet, until he could breathe no more. He did this for our freedom. Eternal freedom! Earthly freedom! We are not under rules or regulations.
We are free!
No matter if your parents abused you.
No matter if your spouse mistreated you.
No matter if you lived a life of prostitution.
No matter if you were imprisoned.
No matter if you were a slave to drugs or alcohol.
No matter if your children were taken from you.
You can start again! You can live a life of freedom in Christ Jesus! Your slate can be wiped clean!
Jesus, God in the flesh, came to this earth as a human. He lived among his people for 33 years until they killed him. Three days later he rose from his grave. 40 days after that he ascended into heaven. And he promises that he will come back one day and take all of those who believe in him to heaven to live with him and the Father for eternity. That’s the gospel of Jesus. That’s the hope Jesus gives. That’s the freedom we have in Christ Jesus!
Do you have it? It’s there for the taking. Here are a few verses to guide you:
I Corinthians 15:1-4
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been SET FREE from sin.” Romans 6:6-7 (NIV)
Celebrate your freedom as an American today. Celebrate your freedom as a child of God every day!
Have an independent week!