Freedom can mean different things to different people. For children, freedom may mean the end of school and the beginning of summer vacation. For a teenager – getting one’s license may signal freedom. For a young adult perhaps moving out of their parents home. (I’m not quite sure what freedom means to an adult, it seems like we have a lot tying us down… maybe retirement?!)
This time of year thoughts of freedom usually center around our nation’s birthday and our fight for freedom from England.
But even that can be complicated. When the US won the War of Independence, it really only meant freedom for white men. And still today in 2019, almost 250 years later, people still strive for freedom both within our country and at the borders, people longing to be welcomed in, to be free.
For believers and nonbelievers freedom is what Jesus came to bring. At the time the Jewish people were longing for freedom from the oppressive Roman rulers but that was not the type of bondage Jesus came to bring, He came to break us free from the tyranny of sin.
31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36
We can be free in the fullest sense – free from the daily sin that ensnares us and free from the fear and power of death.
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday this week and those that fought to keep us free, let us also remember those that still long for freedom and let us especially give thanks to Jesus for the freedom that only He can bring.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1