The Price of Freedom. Enter this statement on an Internet search line and one is overwhelmed with books, films, articles, and anecdotes from around the globe. And if the granite war- memorial epitaphs were to join voices with endless rows of crosses in national cemeteries, their unified message would surely be, freedom comes at a very high price indeed!
Whether it be freedom from slavery, a tyrant’s rule, an addiction or imprisonment, the desire for freedom lies deep within the human spirit. It strains at the shackles of bondage in all its various forms. Indeed, there is a word that captures the very essence of freedom— redeem. Webster’s dictionary says it “implies releasing from bondage or penalties by giving what is demanded or necessary.”
The word and its concept also appear many times in the Bible. For example, humankind is pictured as being set free or redeemed from the penalty sin demands. Since God never forgives sin out of sheer leniency but only through a sacrifice, it took the death of Jesus Christ on the cross to redeem us. He secured our release when he,
…gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed -Titus 2:14a
Christ [Jesus] has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written,
…cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree -Galatians 3:13
God now invites us to enjoy the freedom Jesus made for us. Our release from condemnation and judgment is instantly and eternally secured the moment we take God at his word—when we believe. Faith in God’s promise and provision is the key that liberates us from Divine judgment. The Scriptures are clear that it is,
…through faith in him [Jesus] we may approach God with freedom and confidence. -Ephesians 3:12
Contrary to popular belief, heaven is not a reward for good people. Rather it is an undeserved benefit bestowed by God on those who believe, those who are,
…justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, -Romans 3:24
Having paid the ultimate price for our freedom, God raised Jesus from the dead. His grave is empty. Jesus is right now, alive and eternally free from the shackles of death. In the same way, all who trust God are eternally free from sin’s consequences. One biblical writer rejoiced in this fact when he penned,
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. -Romans 8:2
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes— I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! -Job 19:24-27
No greater price of freedom has been paid than that paid by Jesus Christ. He is our Redeemer! One songwriter* reflected on this glorious truth when he wrote,
I will sing of my Redeemer And his wondrous love to me; On the cruel cross He suffered, From the curse to set me free. Sing, O sing of my Redeemer, With his blood He purchased me; On the cross He sealed my pardon, Paid the debt and made me free.
*James McGranahan (1840-1907)