This month the United States of America will be celebrating 240 years of independence declared on July 4, 1776. The forefathers of our nation declared themselves to be an independent nation from England. It is also our day of freedom, and we celebrate it all across our nation. Most cities, towns, villages, etc. will set off fireworks at the end of their celebrations. There might even be a festival in some of these communities. We will celebrate.
But there is an earlier “Independence Day” that is far more important to celebrate. It happened in the spring of the year on the day we call “Good Friday.” Hear the words of Saint Paul who tells you the importance of that day, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). It was on the cross that your freedom was won, and Jesus set you free. It was freedom from the yoke of slavery, a slavery to sin, to death. You could not break the bonds of it. You and I were doomed and enslaved.
Then we look at that glorious Independence Day and what God gives us in Christ, and we see that all sins are forgiven. We aren’t bonded to slavery, sin, and death. We are set free. So what do we do with that freedom?
Well, like the United States shares the story of its independence on July 4 every year, we share the story of what it means to be independent of the slavery to sin. We share the story of Jesus and Good Friday (a Christian’s Independence Day). We live under that freedom won for us, and we are inspired to share the story. For the truth is, we want all to know this freedom from sin. We want others to be brought into Jesus’ family and out of slavery.
I therefore encourage you, this month, and especially on July 4, the U.S. Independence Day, to remember your Christian Independence Day. The day Jesus set you free.