“Help me. I’m Amanda Berry! I’ve been kidnapped and I’ve been missing for 10 years and I’m, I’m here, I’m free now.” What a gripping story! Three women who had been kidnapped and held as slaves for over 10 years, escaped those bonds yesterday and were reunited with their families. We were repulsed by the wickedness of such a crime. We were compelled by the urgency and fear in the voice of the one who called 911, spellbound by the looks on their faces of joy and relief, mixed with fear and uncertainty. Vicariously, we joined the neighbors in celebrating their freedom. Those women must feel as though they have been taken from a place of death and been set free to live again.
And in all of that, I was reminded of how Jesus came to us, how He suffered and died to set us free from the one who had kidnapped us and held us in bondage. In Jesus we cross over from slavery to freedom, from sin to righteousness, from death to life! Jesus compared our situation in this world to that of sheep who have been stolen by a thief. He said,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
One of the women who escaped came out with a young daughter, who must have been born and raised in captivity. If that is so, the only life that little girl had ever known was that of a slave. It is conceivable that she had no real understanding of her situation, nor of what freedom could bring. The same is true for us all, as we are born into a world of captivity and spiritual deadness.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. … So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34&36
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24
What about you?
If you have never experienced the freedom and life available to all those who truly believe in Jesus, I urge you to look into it carefully. Don’t casually dismiss a freedom you don’t understand. If you have questions, I will gladly respond – with logic and sincerity, not dogma and emotional manipulation.
If you have experienced this life and freedom in Christ, please consider this: The older women who escaped are unlikely to ever want to return to that house of horrors. But the little girl who grew up there, who may think of that place as her home, may experience some yearnings to do so. And sometimes, so do we, who have been set free in Christ.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1