When confronted with challenging situations, the ‘tribulation’ Jesus warned His followers of, when the vicissitudes of life trouble you, have you sometimes wondered if you are missing the mark with this proclamation of Jesus: ‘If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.’ Jn.8:36? We know God cannot lie, for His word is truth Jn.17:17, yet our experiences sometimes test the efficacy of this statement. Like those in the world, believers are tossed by adversity. Where IS the liberty promised?
In the next few posts, family, let us examine and draw strength from God’s prophetic proclamation from the mouth of Isaiah: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me… He has sent Me… to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…’ Is.61:1.
Captives are deprived of God-given liberty. Some are incarcerated as punishment for sin, made accountable for having done wrong, others may not even know they are bound having put themselves in this state through ignorance or lack of understanding. Both are in bondage, held against their will, desiring to be set free, but seemingly helpless.
The NIV translation of the text in review is instructive. Jesus came to proclaim ‘release from darkness for the prisoners’. There are two dimensions to ‘darkness’. The one is ignorance, the other is wickedness. Both are signs of weakness for ‘he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going’ Jn.12:35. Light delivers from machinations of wickedness and manipulations of those who know what you do not. To walk in the freedom purchased by the Blood of Jesus,the darkness of this wicked world, and be the light that the world badly needs, believers need understand the nature of our freedom. Salvation is free but discipleship costs us. Our freedom cost Jesus His life, it will cost us ours.
From the days of Moses, no man was put to death for any sin except on the testimony of two or three witnesses Deut.17:6. Jesus confirmed this: ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established’ Mt.18:16. This God-given law also rules in heaven, three witnesses on earth are required when men stand before the Righteous Judge. Satan is the prosecuting attorney who accuses us day and night before God while Jesus is the Advocate who pleads our case. Three witnesses speak for us at this trial: the first is the Blood of Jesus, the price for our justification, the second is our profession of what the word of God says about us, and the third is our willingness to stand, trusting God, even in the face of death Rev.12:10-11, just like the Hebrew boys.
To give your life to Jesus should be the last independent decision you ever make; the first vestige of freedom stands as your witness when the accuser of brethren tries to legally keep you bound.
Next post: the Holy Spirit is the Anointing that destroys every yoke of bondage.