By Randy Ballinger
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The birth of freedom came with great words.
Our Founding Fathers, though, knew that the fight against tyranny required more than great words.
The Declaration of Independence would be merely faded ink on yellowed parchment if action had not backed up those words. That’s why the 56 patriots who signed their names under those great words 246 years ago, did so “with a firm reliance on . . . divine Providence” and pledged to one another their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
The securing of freedom came with great resolve and sacrifice.
Even greater words were spoken two thousand years ago. A 30-year-old carpenter-turned-itinerant-preacher declared to folks in his hometown that he was going to set the world free:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19, English Standard Version, emphasis mine).
Jesus spoke words of liberty, recovery, and freedom—not for himself, but for us!
For three years, Jesus proclaimed that “the kingdom of God is at hand.” Most hung on to his words because no one ever spoke like Jesus.
Not all appreciated his words, though. Knowing that he was going to be brutally treated and killed for the words he spoke, “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51, emphasis mine). Nothing could prevent Jesus from securing true and enduring freedom for all of us.
Jesus acted on his words with great resolve.
Jesus sacrificed his own life on the cross as payment for the penalty of our sins. Jesus won our independence from Satan’s tyranny of sin in our lives.
As we gather around this “Table of Independence,” let us be mindful and thankful that Jesus not only declared freedom from sin and spiritual death, but that he resolutely secured freedom for us as well.
Randy Ballinger lives with his wife, Gina Ann, near New Paris, Ohio. He is an elder with the Centerville (Indiana) Christian Church.