Do you remember July 4, 1976? I remember it well. Our nation was celebrating its Bicentennial—200 years of freedom. It was a day to celebrate! Even though I was only 12 years old at the time, I understood very well what we were celebrating—and the cost involved. Many had sacrificed so that I might live free.
In another part of the world, a celebration was also occurring on July 4, 1976. It was another celebration of freedom, but for a different reason. One week earlier, 106 people (most of them from Israel) had been taken hostage aboard an aircraft and diverted to Entebbe, Uganda on the continent of Africa. The drama went on for a week until Israeli Special Forces conducted a daring raid and rescued 102 of the hostages on July 4. This action remains the most successful hostage rescue mission to date. It set off celebrations in Israel. This celebration of freedom was not without a cost, however. The leader of the mission was killed in the process of rescuing the hostages.
That rescue mission pales in comparison to the one Jesus carried out for us. To enable us to obtain freedom from sin, Jesus willingly sacrificed His life for us. We read about this in Ephesians 1:7, “In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins” (New Century Version).
We celebrate freedom today and every day. Like freedom celebrated everywhere, it is not without cost. The cost of our freedom from sin was the lifeblood of Jesus. He willingly gave Himself up for you and me so that we would not be hostage to sin. May we be ever mindful of that as we celebrate our freedom this week and always. Happy Independence Day!
Because of Him,