In general, people hunger for real freedom. Take, for example, Peter Fetcher and his friend Helmut Kulbeik. Their dream was to escape East Germany and make it to the West in order to experience freedom.
The Berlin wall had just been finished, but it still had numerous places where security was not yet enforced. They found an abandoned building near the American sector and decided to run through the death strip. Crawling under barbed wire, they reached the infamous wall. Helmut succeeded in getting over the wall; however, Peter was spotted by a guard who started to shoot at him. Because Peter really wanted to be free, he continued climbing the wall. He was shot several times; nonetheless, he still succeeded in reaching the top. By this time, however, he was too weak to continue. He fell back to the ground, on the East Berlin side of the wall, and bled to death.
I am still amazed that so many who hunger for freedom prefer to be under bondages such as drugs, alcohol, sex, work, and many other things that make us miserable. Instead of trying to escape from East Berlin, they rather run to East Berlin. Freedom becomes a complete unknown!
Our Heavenly Father also hungers for freedom, not for Himself, but for His children on earth. Although His children chose bondage, He wanted them to be free, and this is why, “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it.” (Rom 8:3, MSG)
The solution to our bondage (sin) cannot be resolved by ourselves. We have all fallen short of it. We may try to be righteous, but sooner or later we will fail. Instead, Jesus took our humanity. He became one of us with one exception: He never fell into bondage (sin). His Heavenly Father was way too real for Him. He willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross so that He would pay the debt we owed for our bondages. Once paid, we don’t owe anything any longer. Our debts are paid.
We now have the opportunity to discover real freedom along with grace from our loving Heavenly Father. God truly went for the jugular! We have been reconciled with our Father! What a gift Jesus gave us! Now we can step from East Germany into West Germany without having to worry about being shot at. We are truly free, if we so desire.
“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36, NIV)
No need to crawl under barbed wire; no more walls to climb. Freedom is given abundantly through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Hurray!
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)