“FREEDOM!” William Wallace shouted in the movie “Braveheart.”
What is freedom? How do we define it? Not the dictionary definition, but real time, real life experience where the rubber-hits-the-road-tactile freedom. Free of perspective under differing circumstances and free from twisting words of law or politics.
In the movie, thirteenth century William Wallace defined it as political autonomy for Scotland apart from England. He seemed to worship the concept of freedom itself…
But if freedom is a mere concept it is rendered not much more than illusion; much like “truth” if there is no absolute truth by which to measure all truth. [i]
Is a nationalistic freedom really all there is to “freedom?” People of all nationalities, races, creeds and religions have ideas about the type of freedom they define, desire and strive toward. But is it really freedom they strive for or the phantasm of freedom?
First century Israel of Jesus time wanted freedom from Roman rule. The Pharisees of that period wanted this freedom too, and yet they argued with Jesus, in the gospel of John chapter eight, insisting that they were not imprisoned or enslaved by anybody. They knew Jesus was referring to spiritual freedom and they were having none of it. Blinded by their hubris they refused to accept they were in a spiritual prison:
(Jesus said) “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves to anyone.
How can you say that we shall be set free?”
Jesus replied, “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 8:32-36)NIV
Therefore, being spiritually imprisoned by sin is the worst kind of prison there is. Because it offers the greatest lie – the illusion of being free.
On the other hand, spiritual freedom in Christ is an eternal freedom that no man, life circumstance, ill health, or even physical death can take away.
[i] Both absolute freedom and absolute truth do exist. They exist in Christ who is the definition of both. Freedom to sin? Or freedom from sin. Which is true freedom?
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).