“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” John 8:31
From the very start of creation we have been a rebellious people. We all reject God’s commands. We are all bound up in captivity to sin. It ensnares and tangles us, tripping us, it leaves us bound and hopeless. We are wrapped in the chains of guilt and there is nothing we can do to free ourselves. Sin leaves us deserving of death. It leaves us cut off from mighty God, the everlasting Father who loves us deeply. The good good Father who desires us.
And right from the start when we rebelled God had promised a Saviour, a serpent crusher, one who would set us free. Jesus, the long expected Saviour, come to set the captives free. We are the captives. Our sin has left us dead. No matter how much we protest we are all drowning, all in need of saving. We each fall short of God’s glorious standards. No matter how much you protest your innocence we have each messed up. In one way or another we have rebelled against God. We have done the things we know are wrong. We haven’t done the things we know are right. We are not innocent. None of us. For each of us it will be something different, but for each of us it will be something. We may not be mass-murderers, but Jesus warns “that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement” (Matthew 7:22). You may not have committed adultery, but Jesus warns us “everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 7:28). We all sin. We all break God’s commands. Each of us are captives, bound up in the chains of our sins.
But Jesus, the long expected serpent crusher was born to set the captives free. He is the one who has the power to break our chains through His blood, poured out for us. When we abide in His word we find hope, for our chains have been broken. We have been restored to relationship with God. Death has lost its sting, for we have the promise of eternal life with our everlasting, always-loving Father. We can have hope this Christmas for our chains have been broken and we have been set free. We have been released from our sins and fears to find rest in Jesus. Now the challenge to us is to go and tell the world of this glorious news, that they too can be free, because Jesus, our long expectant Saviour was born to set us free. All who call on His name will have their chains broken and will be set free, free to enjoy life everlasting!