The In & Out of Freedom
“The Great Freedom Sale!” the unmistakable orange-white-and-green advertisement calls out for your attention. It is that time of the year, the month of August where discounts are doled out, rates are slashed and prices hit rock bottom. Exclusive offers beckon the consumer and culminate to August 15th, the Indian Independence Day.
Looking back through the pages of Indian history, the question arises, was freedom really low-cost? Was freedom ever discounted? The answer is a resounding “No”. August 15th 1947 India woke up to freedom. The Indian tricolor flag was hoisted with national pride. Behind the unfurling of the flag were sacrificial and outstanding contributions made by Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and a host of other freedom fighters. Scores of unsung heroes and heroines bravely fought the baton, some behind bars, precious lives were lost, families were broken and tears were shed, all for the price of Indian freedom. The road was rough, the price was dear and the loss was heavy.
Scores of unsung heroes and heroines bravely fought the baton, some behind bars, precious lives were lost, families were broken and tears were shed, all for the price of Indian freedom.
Jesus said to his disciples in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In Greek, the word he used to describe this friendship as ‘philos’ which means someone who is dearly loved and prized or someone held dear in a close bond of personal affection. Jesus goes on to announce, “You are my friends”.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
The prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus’ death on the cross, “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed”(1). As prophesied, Jesus was wounded (defiled), crushed (broken and shattered), chastised (punished) and striped (bruised). Although not committing any wrongdoing Himself, He voluntarily took up suffering and humiliation for our transgressions (offenses) and iniquities (guilt and sin). The bitter offenses of pride, anger, resentment, revenge and jealousy are just a part of the human nature that mars and enslaves us (2).
The fundamental question we should be asking is “Why Jesus chose to suffer and die for our freedom?” Well, the reason being that God loves us (3), God is just (4) and God is merciful (5). The justice of God demands a penalty, His mercy withholds condemnation and His love compelled Him to take our place.
The justice of God demands a penalty, His mercy withholds condemnation and His love compelled Him to take our place.
God’s attributes of love, justice and mercy are demonstrated as it converges at the Cross of Calvary. Jesus Christ paid a heavy price for our freedom. The God and Creator of the universe faced humiliation and death for our freedom. The Good News is that He rose again and when we believe in Him we too are set free. The Bible says, “For freedom Christ has set us free” (6)
As we celebrate Independence today, let us remember the price paid for our freedom without and the price paid for our freedom within.
Happy Independence Day!
- Isaiah 53:5
- Romans 6:20
- John 3:16
- Isaiah 61:8
- Ephesians 2:4
- Galatians 5:1