As a new Army wife, I am learning about the sacrifice that freedom requires. Thankfully my husband has been kept safe so far in his Army career- so we haven’t incurred any devastating sacrifices, but the day to day sacrifices wear you down in a different way. Missing birthdays, sleeping alone night after night, going months without seeing his face, these are the things we achingly forfeit. Yet, I am simultaneously reminded of the honor it is to be married to a man who holds our country’s freedom above his own. We are sacrificing as a family, so our country doesn’t have to.
Christ’s sacrifice for us is similar, but on an eternal spectrum. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16 ESV).
He paid the ultimate sacrifice and He was scorn for the transgressions of others. Christ was willing to carry the weight of all our pains, so that we could be free. Our freedom isn’t free, and it never has been. Christ went to the cross for us. Our service men and women willingly go into battle to protect all the liberties we are afforded in America. We might have an annual “Independence Day”, but we can capitalize on the promises from our Savior and live in freedom every day. Christ extends this life, giving freedom to us daily, rescuing us from being caged and captive to the world’s rat race.
In Jesus, we are free from guilt, fear, shame, and doubt, but so often we are convinced of the lie that we are not. The weight of life’s stresses sink in and the lies creep back in like an unwelcome pest. That is not the life we were meant to have in Christ. The Gospel of John spells it out for us, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 ESV). When you know the truth, you are free from the shame of past mistakes, free from strongholds that have held you in bondage, you are free to live the life that Christ has set out for you to make your own.
Even as I work toward maturing as a Christian, this is a difficult truth to accept. How can it be? How can this good God love me so perfectly that I am truly free from all the skeletons in the closet? All the fear? All the doubt? That is one of the promised gifts in the gospel. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 ESV). Not only does the power of Christ’s sacrifice set us free from the clutches of sin and death, but also challenges us to never submit to them again! Living free is not only liberating, but the marks of a true disciple of Jesus. We can forget how sweet it feels to be living in Christ’s victory, even tiring at times, but it is our right as children of God, so we must put off the ways of this world and live our best lives: in freedom.
CHM Contributor Sophia Holmes