You may have heard the story about the Emporer Guang Xu of the Tsing Dynasty, who as a young man was imprisoned for political reasons in The Summer Palace near Beijing, a palace called YiHeYuan. Altough he could walk throughout the luxurious palace, some might say that he was fortunate to be imprisoned there. However, no matter how luxurious his prison was, there was still a lock on the door - it did not compare to freedom and this young man was no less a prisoner.
We like to think of freedom as being unrestricted action, safety, and peace. When our lives are unrestricted and we can do as we like, go where we please, and see who we want, we are free. We also find freedom in safety because where we are safe and secure we are free. Many places in the world are not safe because of war and terrorism and the people do not go out for fear of being caught in an incident. We can be comfortable in Canada because we are at peace and therefore safe and free. Freedom is extremely valuable.
But physical freedom is not the deepest freedom we can experience - human beings need spiritual freedom as well. God’s Word, the Bible tells us that we are not free spiritually! In John chapter 8, verse 34, Jesus says, Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. As sinners we are slaves to various bad and destructive habits - with pride, selfishness and deceit being some very common ones. And if we are slaves we cannot be free.
God, however, offers us freedom from our sins through His Son, Jesus Christ. On the cross, the passion of the Christ, He took all of our sin on Himself and He suffered the punishment for those sins - death. The penalty for our sin has been paid and we do not need to be slaves to sin any longer. God’s offer brings spiritual safety and peace. While we are in our sin we are at war with God, and therefore neither safe nor free, but God offers us peace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When we are at peace with God and safe from the consequences of our sins our lives are unrestricted by sin and we can have the freedom to live a meaningful and purposeful life.