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Freedom Came With A Price

Freedom Came With A Price
Let's Remember Who Paid It

Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let Him be crucified!" Matthew 27:22 (NKJV)

Each time the 4th of July comes around there is an excitement in the air.  For many people it represents the gathering of family and friends.  For some it represents an additional day off of work. It should be a time of reflecting on the freedom that has been earned by brave men and women who have fought hard and paid the ultimate sacrifice.  

When I think of freedom, I think of all of the choices I have been given and how I can freely choose.  Our Declaration of Independence tells us God has given us this freedom as well, as the government was established to secure these rights.  It was Thomas Jefferson who wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men..."

And our Bill of Rights reveals to us we have been given the Freedom of Religion.

God's Word says we are given freedom from eternal death when we freely choose to accept His free gift of forgiveness.  With this freedom comes the freedom from the bondage of the enemy.  Each one of us is in bondage to sin when we come into this world, and it is only by the blood of Jesus we are set free.  We are now free from the power of sins hold upon our flesh.  And we are free to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit residing in each person as a believer.  

Q:    But was this gift of forgiveness really free?

A:    The answer is "No!"  This so called freedom came at a cost, just as it came at a cost in this country - someone paid for it.

In the case of our Spiritual freedom, that "Someone" is Jesus Christ, and His payment was costly, as it cost Him His physical life.   But before He paid this ultimate cost, He endured much more.  

Those who held Jesus in captivity prior to His crucifixion mocked Him and made fun of Him.   They scourged Him with a whip containing 9-strings attached to the handle - each one had a small piece of bone or glass at its end.  These small sharp pieces would tear flesh out of the body of the one being beaten.  This whipping device was known as the cat-o'nine-tails.  The scourging would usually consist of 39-lashes and was a process the Roman government used to inflict as much pain as possible without killing the person.

After Christ was scourged, they continued by blindfolding Him and then striking him with their fists, while mocking Him.

And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, "Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?" Luke 22:64 (NKJV)

As if this were not enough, they began to spit upon Jesus, and pulled the hair from His beard. Isaiah had prophesied what Jesus would do.

I gave My back to those who struck Me,  And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;  I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. Isaiah 50:6 (NKJV)

The rulers then dressed Jesus in a robe and set Him before Pilate.  The very people Jesus came to save chose to bring false accusations against Him - demanding His crucifixion.  After this He was given His own personal cross to carry to the place where He was eventually crucified. A crown of thorns was pushed down upon His head.  Even while up on the cross, He was mocked and they drew lots for His clothing, and vinegar was offered to relieve His thirst.

This was the price paid for freeing us from the penalty of sin, and from the clutches of eternal death.

Q:    What does this mean to us?

A:    It means our freedom was anything but free.

I want to encourage you as you celebrate the 4th of July, to think upon the price paid by those who fought and died bravely and valiantly for this thing called freedom.   Think about the soldiers throughout time who have given all, so some might have what they consider free.  Think about the ultimate price Jesus paid for our freedom and opportunity for eternal life.  There is a lot to be thankful for - lets remember it all!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

God has blessed America - let's acknowledge the cost with a proper heart of thanksgiving and a life submitted to Him.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about the freedom offered to every man who would receive God's gift of forgiveness through Christs death according to John 3:16?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: What are you doing with your freedom?  Are you freely living for God and sharing this gift with others?

APPLICATION: When someone mentions freedom, take a moment to share with them what freedom really costs.

Father, Thank You for the freedom You have given me.  Thank You for allowing Your only begotten Son to die on the cross and to pay for my sin.  I place my faith in Jesus and receive Him as my Lord and my Savior.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000