Friday, April 11, 2014

A Different Kind of Freedom

In a few months we’ll be gearing up to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Independence Day is not just about back yard burgers with the neighbors or an excuse to set off mini explosives attached to popsicle sticks - it really is a time where we can pause to celebrate that we live in the greatest nation on the planet.

It is also a time to give thanks for those who provide that freedom for us. Those who take up a weapon. Who stand a post. Who step into harm’s way. And some who even give what we call: The Ultimate Sacrifice. I believe it is appropriate to give thanks both for the nation in which we live and to the scores of young men and women who ensure the freedoms we enjoy as a result.

There is a different kind of freedom that we enjoy, though, that doesn’t always receive the same degree of pomp and circumstance as the land of the free and the home of the brave. It’s the freedom that we enjoy as citizens of the Kingdom of God. And that freedom, too, came with a sacrifice - The Ultimate Sacrifice. And the stakes were much higher than the temporal freedom of one nation; the eternal fate of humanity was in the balance.

When Christ staggered up Calvary, His footsteps were not unsteady solely due to the weight of the cross He was carrying - the weight of your sin and mine was infinitely heavier than those wooden beams. And as He completed His task of bearing our sin and shame, there were no medals to be given or parades in His honor. Rather, the One who sent Him on the mission to begin with actually turned His back on Him just as He needed Him most.

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. It’s the day we remember Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He came into the city on a donkey and the crowd paved the street before Him with palm branches. And it seems almost impossible when reading those words that some of the same people who shouted, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”  in those moments would just a few days later be shouting, “Let Him be crucified!!”

On Palm Sunday at the Glade Church you will have an opportunity to hear clear teaching on The Ultimate Sacrifice that Christ made. You will have the opportunity to sing praises to Him. You will have the opportunity to receive communion. But most of all, you will have the opportunity to honor the One who gives life…and gives it abundantly. You can give thanks for a different kind of freedom.

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