Posted by: Veroni Kruger | September 15, 2020

Freedom

There is a lot of talk about freedom at present.  We had lockdown with an expected date of lifting of restrictions, then extension of lockdown until April 3, with expected lifting of restrictions.  After hearing them being announced, many of us still feel locked down.

On Monday April 27 we celebrated “freedom day” to commemorate the first democratic election in our country in 1994.  Many people would say they don’t feel much of the promised freedom.

In the midst of all of this, I want to draw your attention to an announcement Jesus made in the synagogue in Nazareth more than 2,000 years ago.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”  (Luke 4.18,19)

Jesus did not free the Jewish people from Roman oppression. He did not set people physically imprisoned free.  What was He then talking about?

The answer to that question lies in the answer to another:  What did Jesus accomplish through his death and resurrection?  Although we may not be able to grasp the full implications with our human minds, we can surely state the following:

He set us free of condemnation because of our sin; He proved to us that death is not an unconquerable enemy; He proved that Satan has no authority over us; He opened the way for us to directly approach the throne of God through faith; He opened the way for us to live a life of abundant blessings.  This is to name only a few of the many things Jesus accomplished.

Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10). Life to the full means experiencing an abounding fullness of joy and strength for mind, body, and soul.

This is true freedom.  It is what Jesus was talking about when He said “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8.36). This means to be free of fear also.

Victor Frankl, survivor of World War Two, spent three years in German concentration camps in Auschwitz and Dachau, from 1942 to 1945.  He wrote about freedom as follows:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

What does that have to do with us today?  Simply this:  The freedom that Jesus bought for us is there for us to enjoy.  We have a choice to make.  We can either accept that and live in it, or focus on the negative things around us and become more negative ourselves, even succumbing to fear.  Fear, if allowed to cloud our thinking, may lead to depression.  That is definitely not God’s purpose for us!

Let us contemplate God’s Word to absorb what Christ has achieved for us into our thinking.  Let us also allow the Holy Spirit to help us channel our thoughts to be according to God’s Word.  Paul encourages us to pursue this way of thinking in 2 Corinthians 3.17:  “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Let us pray.

Father, thank you for setting us free.  Help us to live in that freedom.  In Jesus Name, Amen.


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