What have we done with this exquisite freedom?
This is the question on my heart.
Such an epic transfer of freedom made possible in the course of one day centuries ago on a hillside.
One life for millions. And then millions upon millions to come. A holy transaction in the form of a sacrifice. A daunting price paid in full. Him, for us. The perfect for the flaw-filled. The holy for the captive. The sinless for the sin-filled prisoner.
It IS the greatest gift we’ve ever been given since Eden.
The sound of freedom that day on the hill rang with every hammer on nail. He gasped freedom with every anguished breath. Every sob and prayer sounded like freedom. Every drop of blood was the colour of freedom.
His last breath was our first as free children.
I love how powerful the transaction for freedom sounds in author Max Lucado’s words from his classic book, “Six Hours One Friday“.
He says, “But just when the last breath escapes, the war begins. The pit of the earth rumbles…”
“It is an earthquake, a rock-splitting rumble.
A stampede-like vibration, as if prison doors have been opened, and the captives are thundering to freedom.”
The sound of freedom.
Sometimes I forget that sound.
Sometimes I forget His costly act of Love.
Sometimes I would rather flirt with the very thing I was bought from.
Sometimes I tromp on the very freedom that saved me from myself.
And I think, what’s wrong with me, that I can’t live in all the freedom He’s given me? A heavy question, and my heart can tend to weigh down with it.
A few sentences down on the same page, I find this next paragraph of Lucado’s and it’s like he’s reading my mind.
“Six hours one Friday. Let me ask you a question: What do you do with that day in history? If it really happened… if God did commandeer His own crucifixion… if He did turn His back on His own son… if He did storm Satan’s gate, then those six hours that Friday, were packed with tragic triumph. If that was God on that cross, then the hill called Skull is a granite with stakes to which you can anchor.”
So my heart asks itself:
What will we do with this freedom?
What will we do with this tragic triumph?
What will we do with the holy anchor of a hillside?
Sometimes we get comfortable with our own prisons. Even though we’ve been granted eternal freedom.Sometimes we get comfortable with our own prisons. Even though we've been granted eternal freedom. Click To Tweet
We become so familiar with our own woes, worries, poor habits, and defeatist attitudes. We feel okay wallowing in our pits of destruction, and bad choices and wobbly reputations.
I do it almost without thinking.
And I don’t like it. But sometimes embracing our real freedom is harder than we think. And we allow life to make it more complicated than it needs to be. We think it comes from routines, and good deeds, and forgetting dreams, and stripping away joy.
When what we should do with our freedom, is live in it.
Deep down, we long to be free from all life’s pits, all our poor decisions, all our running headlong in the opposite direction from victory.
So where do we start?
How do we get back to the freedom He provided?
What does it look like?
Flip a head a chapter or so.
To a tomb. To the grave. Where death is supposed to imprison.
What we do next… is imitate the One who stepped forth first.
Freedom feels like that first holy breath from the Father into an empty body. Freedom is that first twitch of His hand while bandages fall away. Freedom pulses with His first heart beat restarted, and with blood pumping into every vessel with a holy expanding.
Freedom sounds like the crunch of stone being ripped apart, and the earth heaving, and of Roman soldiers passing out.
Freedom bursts out of caves of total darkness and breaks seals meant to keep us contained, the way they meant to keep Him contained!
What do we do with our freedom?
We step out into it.
We follow the steps of the One who stepped forth from his earthy prison. We step into the steps of living victory. We give Him the keys to all our cages we’ve created or others have tried to place us in, and we step forth into freedom anchored in Him.No chains can hold us when He does. Click To Tweet
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
“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.” Gal.5:1
“And, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:18
There might be depression in your life. But it doesn’t have to own you.
There might be trials. But they don’t have to run you.
There might be ugliness, illness, violence, and desperation.
But they do not have to have a hold on you.
You walk with Him.
You walk with Freedom.
And when He sets us free, indeed, nothing is capable of touching that.
Of touching us.
Don’t fall for the lie that these things are capable of taking you down today, beloved.
Because in order to get to you, they have to go through Him.
And He answers in resurrection power that couldn’t be contained then, and cannot be contained now.
We will celebrate it for three whole days around the world.
But what we do with freedom when Easter is done is the real question.
I pray we live in it with every breath.
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