.At times the Truth can hurt our feelings. It can challenge everything we have come to believe. It can alter your life in some powerful ways. The question is, "Is it worth it?"
Once you have seen that something in your life has not aligned with the truth of something, you either have to change or continue to live a lie and live in the bondage of that lie and pay the consequences of it.
If I were to believe that the speed limit on a certain highway is 75 miles per hour but the Truth is that it is only 60 miles per hour and I continue to drive at that speed, at some point there are going to be consequences, especially if I am ignoring the Truth of the posted signs, right?
You see, Truth brings Freedom, especially when it is the Truth of God's Word to us. When scripture penetrates our way of thinking and the beliefs that we have structured our lives around, we have to either choose to allow the Truth to change who we are and what we have become or remain a servant to the lie.
Scripture has a powerful way to influence our lives, if we choose to live by it's standards and principles.
As he was saying these things, many believed in him. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:30–36)
If the opposite is bondage and slavery, no one wants that. You may be enslaved to some habits that are very pleasurable, and in that sense love your slavery. But when you step back from the pleasures and consider happiness without that slavery, you would like to be done with bondage. You would like to be happy in freedom, not a slave to pleasant addictions. We all want to be free.
And in John 8:36, Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” That is what we are after. “Free indeed.” Really free. Freedom in its deepest and fullest meaning. Jesus offers us that this morning. This is Easter. The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He is alive. He is not mere memory. A mere historical figure like Caesar or Shakespeare or John Kennedy. He is back from the dead with a new glorious body. He is alive and reigning as the King of the universe, and he is making this offer of real freedom to all of us today.
To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever. No regrets. And only Jesus, the Son of God who died and rose for us, can make that possible. If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed. To be happy forever, our sins must be forgiven and God’s wrath removed and Christ must become our supreme Treasure. Only Jesus can do that. In fact, he has already done it. He died for our sins. He absorbed God’s wrath. And he rose from the dead and is today therefore supremely precious. And he offers us that now as a free gift.
Let me draw a picture of this freedom to see if I can make it as clear as possible.
A Picture of FreedomLet’s take skydiving, for example. What you want is to experience the fullest possible exhilaration of freedom in skydiving. Let’s suppose then that you are on your way to the airport to go up for your first real jump, but your car hits a pothole on Hiawatha Avenue, you have a blowout, and run into a telephone pole. You are no longer free to jump, whether you have the ability or not, because the opportunity passes while you wait for the tow truck. You lack the freedom of opportunity.
Or suppose you do make it to the airport, but it turns out that you skipped all the classes and don’t know the first thing about skydiving. You lack the most basic abilities — like how to operate the parachute. The opportunity is there, but you don’t have the freedom of ability. They’re not going to let you jump.
But suppose that you make it to the airport, you went to all the classes, and have all the abilities needed. You take off in the little plane, but as soon they open the door and you look down, all your desire vanishes and in its place comes a paralyzing fear. The opportunity is there, the ability is there, but you don’t have the freedom of desire.
But there is one last requirement for full freedom. Suppose you get to the airport with no obstacle (you have the freedom of opportunity); you have all the know-how necessary (you have the freedom of ability); you look out the door at the tiny clusters of silos and barns and farmhouses a few miles down, and just can’t wait to jump (you have the freedom of desire). So you jump.
“In order to be fully free — free indeed — the Son of God must set you free.”
And as you free fall, enjoying every second of it, unknown to you, your parachute is defective and is not going to open no matter what you do. Are you free — fully free, free indeed?
No. What you are doing so happily and so freely is going to kill you. Even though you don’t know it yet, you are in bondage to destruction. It feels like freedom. But very soon the whole thing — all the exhilaration — will prove to be an illusion. In thirty seconds you’ll be dead.
Dying and Rising to Make You Free IndeedWe have no man made parachute. We have a Savior. Because he died for us, there is no condemnation. The inexorable, deadly, gravitational pull of our sins is broken. He has caught us in mid-fall and has become our supreme Treasure. Our destiny and our desires are new. He is their source, and he is their content. He gave us the new desire, and he is the new desire. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Is it not then utterly foolish for a Christian to envy the so-called freedom of those who pitch themselves out the skyscraper window of sin and exult for a season in the exhilaration of free-fall greed, or free-fall drugs or free-fall fame, or free-fall sex, or free-fall power, or free-fall luxury oblivious of Jesus. All this freedom is like a vapor, but those who trust in Jesus, and treasure him above all, will mount up with wings like eagles, and be glad — a thousand years from now. They will be free indeed.
Jesus is not just giving you information in this message. He is giving you an invitation. Trust him. Treasure him. He died and he rose again to make you free indeed.