Freedom from captivity

Published 3:45 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

Have you ever been in jail?  I recall an occasion when I spent a little time in the local jail.  It was not a new experience for me; I have been in jails numerous times over the years to preach and to visit inmates, but it was for neither of those reasons this time.  As that little room was unlocked for me to enter and wait to be ushered back to complete the paperwork and have my fingerprints done, the echo of the slamming of the heavy door behind me was not a pleasant one.

While confined with no control over my environment–unable to exit at will—I had some time to think.  As I started to consider where I was I could feel a sense of doom coming over me as my heart rate increased and questions started to emerge in my mind:  what if they forget me in here?  What if there is a fire and I cannot escape?  How long am I going to be trapped in this place? 

It has become abundantly clear to me that I would not do well working in a coal mine or on a submarine!

To my great relief, I was finally released from that cubical and ushered into another area.  Those few minutes of confinement were brief, but it seemed like a long time to me.  Even though I was still locked out from the rest of the world and deprived of my freedom, at least I was taken to another room that was less confining and there were a few people to talk to.  But the best feeling was when the doors to the outside world were unlocked to release me.  Finally, I was free to go wherever I desired. 

Even though I was not locked up due to wrongdoing, but only to take care of a business matter, you can be sure that I did not return and ask them to put me back behind locked doors!

As we move toward the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, among the things that are important to keep in our hearts and on our minds is that He came to set us free from the captivity of sin.  Long before Christ was born in Bethlehem, the Old Testament prophet Isaiah foretold some key aspects of Christ’s purpose for coming to earth:  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners”  (Isaiah 61:1, New International Version).  As we fast forward several hundred years to the time of Christ, we find Him reading Isaiah’s words to His audience, and with their eyes fastened on Him, He declared, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).

Being set free is a wonderful gift to experience.  It becomes even more precious when the freedom is not earned, but purchased by another.  Christ paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross and He rose from the dead in victory to make the gift of eternal life available to all who will believe on Him and accept by faith that which He has provided for us. 

When we observe Easter later this month, let us all keep the focus on Christ’s sacrifice for us and remember that it is because of His death and resurrection that we have the privilege of surrendering our lives to Him and being released from the imprisonment of sin and its devastating consequences.