I hope as everyone reads this, they are coming off of a great weekend spent with friends and family at a cookout or other function, or even if you were alone, I hope at least you took a few minutes to remember what it cost for us to be free. Now you might think I’m referring to 4th of July, Independence Day celebrations, and in part I am, but as Christians, our freedom transcends our nationality. There’s no doubt each American is extremely grateful and blessed to be living in a country where brave men and women have given their lives, and continue to do so, for our freedom. But let us not forget where our true freedom lies. It begins and ends with Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2 To further illustrate this, let’s think for a minute of our Christian brethren in countries such as China, Iran, Iraq, and other countries where they are not free in the same sense that you and I might think of freedom. No freedom to worship the One True Living God, no societal freedoms that we experience here, yet those that follow Christ as Lord and Savior are just as free as we are. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice in giving His life for our sins.
Many times we think of this sacrifice as Christ giving up His physical body, His flesh, on the cross, but at the same time we must realize that something much greater took place. The ultimate sacrifice for us was that Jesus took upon His shoulders the sins of the world, your sin, my sin, past sins and future sins, all of them at once upon Him. From the smallest little white lie to the sins of the mass murderer should he confess, repent, and trust Christ. All of these sins are equal in the sight of God and Jesus bore the weight of each. He is the Son of God, who came into the flesh and knew no sin. He was perfect, yet in one instant He took upon himself all the disgusting, vile, evil sins of the world. II Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
When we as Christians think of the cost of our freedom from sin, we must realize just what took place and what cost it was that Jesus paid for us. God had to punish our sins; there was no other way around that. Just as he had once destroyed the entire world via flood, save Noah and his family, because of sin, He also had to punish the world again. Only this time there was a Savior, Christ Jesus, who became our substitution for death and separation from God. Yet He endured far greater than physical pain and death. In Matthew 26:39, Jesus fell on His face and prayed, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” I think far too often people read this passage and think that Jesus was fearful of death or afraid of what His physical body was about to endure. Quite the opposite, He knew He would soon have to take on our sins and face the wrath of God, as we later read in Matthew 27:46 where Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” How humbled I am to know that He loved me so much that He died for my sins. What pain this must have been for our wonderful Savior. Far greater than the most painful death, yet this was our Cost of Freedom.
Prayer: Do you realize the cost Jesus paid for our freedom from sin? Have you thought about the pain He endured, far greater than physical pain, but rather the shame of sin in the sight of His Father? Do you live in a way that honors and glorifies Him for the ultimate price Jesus paid? Maybe you’ve never realized what Jesus’ death on the cross meant and have yet to trust Him as Savior. Now is the perfect time. Pray to God, repent and ask forgiveness of your sins. Tell Him that you know the price that Jesus paid on the cross for those sins and that you ask now that Jesus would come into your heart and forgive you too of your sins and that you now surrender your life to Him and accept Him as Lord and Savior.
Additional study: II Corinthians 3:17 Romans 5:15-18 Romans 6:18-22 I Corinthians 7:22