Saturday brings us to one of our nation’s most cherished days when we celebrate our independence. Flags will fly and grills will cook as we share a time of remembrance with family and friends. America shed the shackles that controlled them for liberty. Freedom is a great blessing, one that was gained through the cost of many lives. One life, in particular, secured an even greater freedom.
We will never fully appreciate the tremendous price that the Son of God paid until we recognize the true brutality of sin. It is casually dismissed in our culture, and that attitude can easily seep into the Lord’s church. The gravity of it has been lost. Morality has been downgraded to a personal choice. Life is cheap and disposable. The repetitive drum beat of history goes on (Judges 21:25).
Sin enslaves (John 8:34). The devil is so clever that he convinces us that we are doing “our own thing.” We aren’t. We become prisoners of war and subject to Satan’s whims (2 Timothy 2:26). We become so entrapped in his web of deception that we can’t even recognize that we are being manipulated to do his work. Wickedness and worldliness drive our thoughts and desires. They grow and dominate. Ultimately, they destroy. The slavery is horrible. The end is worse.
Jesus came to set us free. We must not miss the eternal significance of His mission. Death loomed from the very beginning. He was sent to die. It is a remarkable thought. An eternity of perfect harmony between Father and Son ripped apart by sin. We chose to sin, and He chose to suffer. He gave His life for the rebellious, for those who did not care, for those who rejected Him and for the few who accepted Him.
How much does the God of heaven love His creation? Oh, we know the verses and the story, but has it really touched our heart in a transforming way? The comprehension of His indescribable kindness leads to a radical change in thought and lifestyle (Romans 2:4). He gave His Son in a dramatic demonstration of His love and patiently waited for the change that is inevitable when we see it clearly. Imagine how He must feel when people live as if it does not matter to them.
Jesus came to His own people, and they rejected Him. The religious authorities fought against Him. The lost and hurting embraced Him. He turned the world upside down, or perhaps He turned it right-side up. One thing is certain: He changed it. He opened up the possibility of freedom through history’s most sacrificial life. Saturday marks another day of celebrating our nation’s independence. It is a special time for all of us to enjoy, but Sunday surpasses it. Every week, we come together with the simple elements of unleavened bread and grape juice to remember the greatest freedom of all.