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True freedom is found in Christ

Built on a Rock
Rev. Andrew Palmquist, Bethany Lutheran Church, Luverne

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
As the United States recently celebrated its 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, patriotic symbols – expressions of our American freedoms – appeared across the land: the American flag, the Liberty Bell, the American Eagle, the Stars & Stripes in a myriad of forms, “bombs bursting in air,” as fireworks celebrations light up the night sky!
One of the most recognized symbols of freedom is the Statue of Liberty, with her familiar stance of holding the book (bearing the date: July 4, 1776) in one hand, the torch held high in the other, the crown of sun rays, and her “welcoming” site to those yearning to be Americans. Her familiar trademarks symbolize freedom and friendship, life and liberty.
One of the most precious of the trademarks – but often overlooked – is the broken chain at Lady Liberty’s feet. The broken shackles symbolize the overthrow of tyranny. Looking at the huge links, one can almost physically feel the tremendous and heavy burden the chain of tyranny represents. But that chain is broken.
There is another “statue of liberty” that offers an even greater freedom because it has broken the chain of sin that held all of mankind in bondage. This statue is made of wood and is very blood-stained, with holes where large spikes used to be. This statue offers a forgiveness that breaks the tyranny of sin that had bound all people with a punishment far greater than any worldly government could ever inflict.
This wooden symbol of liberty is the cross, where Jesus Christ shed his holy precious blood. He did so in payment for the sins of all people, of all time, so that all who believe in him might be freed from sin’s curse of death and everlasting punishment.
Because Christ went to the cross for our sake, we really know what freedom is: “… having been set FREE from sin,” Romans 6:22; what friendship is: “… no greater love … than to lay down one’s life for his FRIENDS,” John 15:13; what life is: “... Christ is our LIFE,” Col. 3:4; and what liberty is: “… where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY,” 2 Cor. 3:17.
The cost of our country’s freedom was paid by spilled blood on battlefields, here at home, and around the world. The cost of our spiritual freedom was “paid in full” by the spilled blood of our dear Savior Jesus on that other “statue of liberty,” the cross!
May each of us declare those blessed freedoms in lives lived for Him.
And pray for our nation, our leaders, and our servicemen and women. Pray that peace and harmony may prevail.
Gather together with fellow Christians and hear God’s word. Hear him proclaim to you that in Jesus your sins are forgiven.
Use that freedom also to tell others of Christ’s amazing life and his blessings so that they too can enjoy this ultimate freedom!

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