In the Star-Spangled Banner, Americans sing about living in the “land of the free and home of the brave.” But do we always feel free? Aren’t there times when we feel as if “chains” were shackling us? There are the chains of responsibility at work and home, the pains we face or the financial strains that come our way. There are the chains of guilt that press us down as we look back at our past wrongdoings.
This month we celebrate Easter. What is Easter all about? In the Bible Job tells us, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25). Easter celebrates the reality that our Redeemer lives. A redeemer is someone who delivers others out of trouble by paying a great price for their freedom. Jesus, the Son of God, came into this world to be our Redeemer. From what did he redeem us?
The story is told of the devil, Satan, who once met Jesus. Satan had a caged wagon that was crammed full of people. And you were in it. “Who are these people?” Jesus asked. “They are the sinners of the world. I am taking them to hell with me,” Satan replied.
Jesus looked at Satan and said, “I don’t want that. Can I buy these people from you?”
“You don’t know what you are asking. The price is very high. And these people won’t always love you. They will doubt you, complain against you and even curse you at times,” responded Satan.
“I don’t care,” said Jesus. “I want to buy them back from you.”
“Okay, but it will cost your life” Satan said.
Jesus answered right back, “I’m willing to do that because I love them.”
And that is what Jesus did. He paid for your release, your freedom from sin’s punishment, by dying on the cross for you. He rose from the dead on Easter to prove that his payment was complete and you are freed. “Because I live, you also will live,” Jesus says to you (John 14:19). Rely on Jesus your Redeemer. By his blood he bought you for a life of glory in heaven. As your Redeemer he is always present to help as you deal with the “chains” of living in this world. Trust him for he loves you.