Freedom on the 4th

Today is the 4th of July, a day which, for Americans, comes as a reminder that the price was once paid for us to enjoy liberty to pursue our God-given rights without fear of the rule tyranny. It is a day that, for many, invokes swells of patriotism. For the Christian, it should remind us too that our freedom to life has also been purchased, paid by a servant king on a cross in Judea two millennia ago.

Historically, while America was yet a colony, the rule of those in power reached a point to which our forefathers declared, “No more!,” and in the years that followed the ideal of freedom drove countless men to their demise. An oppressive power was challenged, and bloodshed was required, but ultimately that conflict came to an end with the birth of a new nation. The United States of America rose from the broken settlements and colonies of an adolescent imperial territory. The ideal that fueled her birth drive many on even now, into conflicts abroad, for our sake and the sake of many.

Further back though, it was one man’s sacrifice that opened the door for us all, every man, woman, and child who ever lived. Alone, dirty and abused, lashed by stinging whips and venomous tongues, Christ walked the Via Dolorosa towards Golgotha, step by step, towards his fate. As the nails were driven deep into His hands and feet, He no doubt focused on His mission: to free us all from the tyranny of man’s oldest oppressor, that being sin itself. Bloody, beaten, exhausted to the point of breaking, it was with His dying breath that He declared victory. “It is finished,” declares John 19:30. In the Greek the phrase comes as , “tetelesti,” that is to say, “paid in full.”

By His blood alone was our servitude to sin cancelled, our debt, a bounty placed upon the souls of all mankind at the dawn of our existence, paid by the sinless blood of the King. Romans 3, verses 23 through 25, reminds us of that fact, saying, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”

On this July 4th, I will not think of our country’s freedoms alone, but also about the ultimate freedom found in Christ alone, that freedom transcending all constraints imposed upon us by mortal men and the bondage of sin’s tyranny alike. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:3).”

God bless you all, and happy 4th of July.

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