Like millions of other Americans, I’m reminded of the Fourth of July weekend and what it represents to us, especially during so much public turmoil in our nation.
We’re restrained by the COVID-19 virus. We fear mobs of rioters who use violence to destroy property and lives. We are divided as a nation: black and white, Democrat and Republican, legal and illegal, rich and poor.
These divisions can make it difficult to celebrate our independence and freedom as a nation. But, it is important to remember our freedom is a very precious and costly thing. It was bought with the blood and great sacrifices of so many courageous Americans. Even now there are those fighting so we may remain free. God bless them!
But as much as I prize my freedom as an American, I am moved to consider a much greater freedom. Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn. 8:31-32,34,36).
Jesus probably shocked these proud people who thought they were already free because they were Abraham’s offspring. Jesus instead points them beyond any national, social or religious freedom they enjoyed to consider the greatest freedom. It is the freedom found only in Jesus Christ. It is the salvation that comes from being his disciple. It is the freedom from living a life of futility. It is the freedom to spend eternity with our Creator. Jesus’ message reminds us “free Americans” we’re not truly free unless we’re free from sin and death. Only He can give us freedom.
Yes, Independence Day is a good time to celebrate our freedom as Americans. But even more importantly, as Christians, we should daily cherish the ultimate freedom we find in Jesus. Songwriter Chris Tomlin wrote: “My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God, my savior, has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy rains; unending love, amazing grace.” That’s our greatest freedom!