Emancipation Realized

Exodus 6:6-7

Jesus came to deliver us from bondage to sin–not just in word but in reality.

With all due respect to my pastor, he erred this weekend when he spoke about Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. When Lincoln, in 1863, issued that executive order, he didn’t really free anyone. Why do I say that? The Emancipation Proclamation supposedly freed the slaves in all of the Confederate-held territories. That would sort of be like the United States today giving the vote to everyone in North Korea. We could say it easily enough, but to actually achieve it, we’d have to face some struggle.

Had Lincoln made his proclamation and then the Union forces lost the Civil War, those supposedly free slaves would have been no better off. When you make a bold declaration–such as the Declaration of Independence in 1776–you have to be able to back up your words with power. That’s what Lincoln had to do after January 1, 1863.

At that last Passover dinner with his disciples, Jesus made some pretty bold claims. He promised more abundant life and freedom from bondage to sin and the law. And Jesus had to go through a struggle to prove that He had the right to fulfill those promises.

It took Abraham Lincoln and his armies about sixteen months to prove their authority to free the slaves–and even then, the process was imperfect, lingering to the present day. It took Jesus just a few hours to forever win the battle against sin’s mastery over human beings and a few days to prove, on Sunday morning, that his victory was absolute.

  • What has the freedom from sin’s bondage meant in your life? If you don’t know, you need to consider this question thoroughly.
  • How do you live out the freedom into which Christ has delivered you?
  • Do you live a life worthy of a freed person? Can others see your liberty clearly?