The Cost of Freedom

Richard Parrish
Jul 24, 2024
3 min read
“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 ESV).

July 4th is a special day for Americans. It marks the day our nation’s Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776 (248 years ago).

Parades, celebrations, fireworks, music, festivals, and barbecues will take place in cities and towns throughout America, to mark America’s birthday—the day we declared our freedom from Great Britain.

Liberation from bondage is costly.

Hopefully, amid the celebrations, food, and fireworks, Americans will not forget the struggles, hopes, courage, and price paid for our independence. It’s tempting to get caught up with the frivolity of festivals and forget the price paid for our freedom.

America’s Declaration of Independence was designed for multiple audiences: the King of England, the colonists, and the world. It intended to rally the troops, win foreign allies, and announce the creation of a new country. The preamble makes clear its primary purpose:

“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.” 

America’s founders carefully chose these words to convince Americans to put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. To separate from Mother England was threatening. Even the thought of doing so elicited fear. Separation from England threatened their sense of security, economic stability, and identity. These introductory words to the Declaration of Independence inspired hearts and united Americans to a vision of a better life.

As followers of Christ, we celebrate God’s grace—God’s unmerited favor, kindness, and generosity that liberates us from bondage to sin. We rejoice in our freedom made possible by God’s love. However, enthralled with the magnanimous gift of our freedom, we can also fail to remember how costly grace is.

Luke records Jesus’ words in the synagogue in Nazareth, where he reads from the scroll, quoting a promise of hope from the prophet Isaiah. The proclamation of good news to the poor, liberty to captives, offering sight to the blind, and liberty to the oppressed was a declaration that would require a huge price. The announcement filled hearts with hope and delight, assuring them that Jesus’ mission would free them from bondage.

But freedom is costly.

On this Fourth of July, I’m thankful for the liberty we have as Americans. I’m also grateful that—as a follower of Jesus—I am no longer hostage to sin. I celebrate my emancipation and remember the price paid for my liberty.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

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