Tuesday, May 17, 2011
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There it was again, displayed for all the world to see; hundreds of thousands of people, willing to risk everything for one thing - freedom. Over the weeks in that square, we watched a powerful, real-life struggle for freedom played out in a place called Liberation ("Tahrir") Square in Egypt. Once again, as we've now seen in other countries, the unquenchable passion to be free changed the nation.
Oh, it's not the first time. It's what happened in 1989 in that Old World Square in Romania where I walked a couple of years ago. On those cobblestones, 200,000 people dared to stand up to brutal oppression, and they toppled a dictator in a matter of days. The freedom flame is what drove thousands of oppressed people to "tear down that wall" in Berlin. And that yearning for freedom? It's what inspired a ragtag gaggle of farmers to grab their muskets 200 years ago to fight the British Army, the mightiest army in the world. And America was born.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "The Unquenchable Thirst For Freedom."
Few passions run deeper in the human heart than this desire to be free. There's something in the human soul that just knows that being in bondage is not how we were created to be. But it turns out that this yearning goes much deeper than we imagined; much deeper than any political or social freedom could ever satisfy.
So Jesus came, as the ultimate Liberator. No, not from a political system or a human despot. He came as the Liberator from the ultimate bondage. A personal bondage that no demonstration, no war can ever shatter.
He said of His mission, "If the Son shall make you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). From the dark despot that keeps every human soul in bondage. Just before He talked about "free indeed," He said, "Anyone who commits sin is a slave of sin" (John 8:34).
Now, at first thought, "sin" may not seem like that big a deal; certainly not our "slave master." Especially if we think sin is just breaking some religion's rules. But it is so much more. And it is at the heart of our broken families, our broken relationships, our broken hearts, our broken world.
Sin is every selfish, dirty or dishonest thing we've ever done. Every word or reaction that has hurt someone, most often someone we love. It's that disease of "me" that, multiplied by six billion "me's" on this planet, exacts a horrific price. And for all our attempts at self-improvement, we just keep doing the things that we hate...that those who love us hate...that God hates. It is, in fact, the hijacking of our life from the very One who gave us our life.
In the words of one of the writers of the Bible, "I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out...no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing" (Romans 7:19). Who doesn't know that struggle? No matter how good we manage to look on the outside, we all have this dark side that just keeps winning; a dark side known all too well by the people closest to us. We are, as Jesus said, slaves to the sin that we can't stop doing.
Well, the same Bible writer ended up with this impassioned cry to be free: "Who will rescue me?" A cry for rescue? Well, that's an admission that I can't liberate myself. Then this man, who's desperate for change, comes to the answer: "Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 7:24).
You know, as we've seen in all the upheaval in all the countries recently, freedom often comes with a price of blood, and mine did. But not my blood; the blood of God's only Son. There was no way to break the enslaving power of sin than to pay its unspeakable death penalty. And that is what Jesus was doing when He died on that cross. As the Bible says, "He loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5).
This could be the day you go free inside; set free by the Liberator who died to give you your freedom. You've got to tell Him you want to be His. You've got to give yourself to Him. We'd love to help you do that. Our website is there for that. I hope you'll go there today. It's YoursForLife.net.
The day I told Jesus, "I'm Yours," that was the day that this sin-slave went free. Because there's no feeling like the day you know you're finally free. For me, for millions, that was the day that we welcomed the Liberator, who paid the price so we would never have to.