As the world was plunged into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost our freedom in ways we could never have imagined. Shops were shut, schools were closed and we were unable to see our friends and families. Fear gripped the nation. Governments issued regulation after regulation. We could no longer do as we pleased. Our freedom was gone.
The future remains uncertain. Infection and death rates are unpredictable and while many businesses have reopened, the economy is fragile and unemployment is rising. The fear stills lingers. We wonder, “will life ever go back to the way it was?”
But what way was that? Before the pandemic, what kind of freedom did we really have?
The Bible tells us that we lost true freedom long before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19. Jesus pointed this out when He said, “whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). Even if we do not consider ourselves to be trapped in a cycle of destructive behaviour, sinful thoughts and desires such as jealousy, lust, hatred, anger and bitterness arise within the hearts of every one of us. God’s analysis is that we have all sinned. As He is fair and just, He must judge what we have done wrong. We need to be freed from the power of sin now and the punishment for sin in the future.
But Jesus didn’t just point out that we are enslaved by our sin, He offered a way to be truly free from sin and its consequences, “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). His declaration shows that, not only does He know the way to freedom, He is the way to freedom. Not only can He deliver us from judgement, He can also liberate us to a life in which we are no longer bound by the shackles of sin.
When He died on the cross, He wasn’t a heroic martyr dying for a cause He believed in, He was a loving Saviour dying for people He cared for. He became the “one Mediator between God and men . . . who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Because He has paid the ransom, total freedom is available to all. With Christ there is no uncertainty, no abiding fear. He gave complete assurance that the person “who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:36). But, in the same verse, He went on to say that the person “who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him”. There are consequences for rejecting Jesus’ offer. If we fail to trust in Him as the way to freedom, our lack of freedom will remain eternally. We will forever experience the judgement that sin brings.
Trust Christ, become truly free.