I recently read an article by Jason Isman, 4 Ways July 4th Can Be Like Freedom in Christ. It stirred some thoughts up in me that overflowed into this article.
What pictures pop into your mind when you think about the 4th of July? Fireworks? Cookout on the grill? Playing in the water some where, some how? Sunburn? Family? A day off from work? All of those and even more are possible images that fill our minds and hearts on July 4th. So what do any of those images have to do with Calvary? All of those images are all about FREEDOM and so is Calvary.
1. July 4th = earthly freedom, while Calvary is all about spiritual freedom IN CHRIST. I love our earthly freedoms here in America, but they cannot compare with the spiritual freedom IN CHRIST. Earthly things never measure up to spiritual ones. That is what Jesus was trying to help the Samaritan woman see in John 4 when he talked about well water and everlasting water.
2. July 4th = national border limitations, while Calvary knows no limits at lines between nations. As an American, we better be careful when we cross our national border. The freedoms that we love so much here in America, don’t follow us across that border. IN CHRIST, as a Christian, we can travel to any nation on planet Earth and still possess our freedom IN CHRIST; we never lose it at the border.
3. July 4th = limited freedom; Calvary = limited freedom also. American freedoms can only be experienced by people IN the USA; our freedom as a Christian may only be experienced by people who live IN CHRIST. Remember: Jesus said that “many” people would live outside of Christ and that only a “few” would live IN CHRIST.
4. July 4th is a gift; Calvary is an even greater gift. There were people who “earned” the freedoms of July 4th, but it wasn’t any of us. Someone also “earned” the freedom made possible only by the sacrifice on Calvary, but it wasn’t any of us. Our July 4th freedom is a gift (from those who died in the Revolutionary war); this is similarly true of our freedom IN CHRIST, purchased on Calvary by the only begotten Son of God.
5. July 4th is all about a declaration of war, one that would last about 6 years; Calvary is a declaration of war that will last until Christ’s Second Coming. Hopefully, every July 4th, we will remind everyone in our circle of family and friends about the war, the blood shed, that made our national, earthly freedom possible. IN CHRIST we commemorate Calvary’s declaration of war every time we observe Communion. The Lord’s Supper is all about the price paid, the blood He shed and in the war against Satan and his forces.
6. July 4th = freedom rebuilt; Calvary = the same. July 4th is all about a foreign nation who robbed Americans of all freedoms and the war that rebuilt those freedoms, which have now stood for almost 250 years. Calvary transformed broken people into healed vessels of God’s workmanship IN CHRIST; who will stand throughout eternity.
July 4th and Calvary, are they different? YES! Similar? YES! Think about that the next time July 4th rolls around. And if you haven’t surrendered to Jesus and allowed Him to move you INTO CHRIST and to give you the freedom that comes with a new life IN CHRIST, that can happen right now. How? Just surrender to Him and make Him the LORD of your life. Come on, bow your head and do it now. God bless.
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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