Is there any influence or situation in your life that you wish you could be free of? Is anything tying you up in knots, disturbing your sleep, or keeping you from doing all the things a free person can do? Do you have a ball and chain, a slave-driver, a prison, a curse? If there is any such thing in your life, please keep it on your mind as you read the rest of this page. You may be closer to freedom than you think.
Have you ever thought of Holy Week as “Freedom Week”? This series of eleven devotional readings is built on the premise that God always intended it to be “Freedom Week.” That’s why he planned that Jesus would die during the Passover festival (the national freedom festival at that time) so everyone would get the point. We have mostly missed it, and we have a lot to gain if we start recognizing it.
The other ten posts in this series will not include any obscure or unusual theological reasoning to make a case for “Freedom Week.” Instead, together we will walk through a plain account of the main events of “Holy Week,” viewing them from the perspective of freedom. The events speak for themselves, fitting together so easily and beautifully around the theme of freedom that it seems they were orchestrated with freedom in mind. We may even wonder why we did not see this obvious fact before.
The week will show us what freedom is, where it comes from, how it works, and what it does. Anyone who would love to be a freer person should love this week. The more you realize what freedom means, the more you are drawn to Jesus, the champion and model of freedom. If you follow him, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (Jn. 8:31-32)
You see, the real root of our freedom problems is that we let something or someone else define us. Some other person, some other force, some other group, or some unwanted desire or voice in us is telling us who we are allowed to be. As a result, we are not free.
However, if we simply take a contrarian approach and assert our own identity, i.e. “This is who I am. Deal with it!” we still are not able to live free because of all the pushing and shoving going on inside us. Even when there is no external pressure, our own desires are not unified. We can never set them all free at the same time. We always have to decide which desires to let free and which ones to keep in check. Our internal “freedom” looks and feels complicated and incomplete to us.
Freedom Week shows us the way out of our dilemma. It shows us how to live free, being defined by neither the pressures from outside nor the conflicting desires inside. It shows us how precious freedom is and how much it cost somebody else to open up our path to it. ”It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5.1) Since the path is open, let’s find it and take it!
Affirmation: Holy Week is Freedom Week, and by God’s grace, I will be well down the road to real freedom by Easter Monday.
Prayer: Thank you, Christ, for opening the door to freedom. Help me as I walk through it.