You Were Made for Freedom
2 Corinthians 3:16-18
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Hands down the greatest movie scene of all time (in my humble opinion) is a scene from Braveheart (viewer discretion is advised). William Wallace is about to be executed for leading his Scottish brothers and sisters into a war against their brutal oppressors, the nation of England led by a merciless King Henry. Wallace is given one last opportunity to submit himself to the evil English king, which would grant him a quick and painless death. Or, he can refuse and endure a painful death, dealt by a bitter enemy experienced in torturing his opponents. A clearly beaten and exhausted Wallace pauses to look at the crowd before answering. Wallace focuses his gaze on few of his disguised Scotsmen who are weeping as they watch their leader suffer. The look on their faces screams, “Give up! Take the easy route,” as they wipe tears from their eyes. Then suddenly Wallace’s focus changes, and he can now see a vision of his bride who was kidnapped and murdered earlier in the film by the English. A beaten and defeated Wallace watches as the one he loves looks back at him and smiles. Somehow the vision restores Wallace’s strength to speak and he knows what he must say. Slowly he opens his mouth to give his answer, sealing his fate. With one last breath he defiant-ly cries into the face of the enemy, FREEEEEEEEEDOM!!!!
The onlookers and the English executioners are shocked, as they begin the process of torturing Wallace to death. Wallace never breaks his gaze with his bride as he dies. The Scottish nation then uses Wallace's death as a rallying cry, eventually overthrowing the English. Bringing freedom to their land and people.
I have probably seen this scene close to 100 times, and I have cried, just as many times, watching it. I can't help but remember the cross as I watch. Jesus came to restore, to us, the freedom that was stolen in the fall of humanity. The cross was only worth enduring because of the freedom it guaranteed. I am confident that while Jesus was being tortured, his focus was not on the pain, unfairness or discomforts. No, I believe that he was focused on his bride. I believe he saw you and me, in a perfect relationship with him and the Father. He knew that our freedom was worth fighting and dying for, so he did. His resurrection and ascension gave way for his Spirit to descend on us, so we can fight for what Jesus paid for.
So we get a choice, we can…
1. Avoid uncomfortable, unfairness and pain by living a conflict free life, conquered by the enemy.
2. We can focus on Jesus. Give thanks for all the hardship in our lives we have suffered, in order to better see our Jesus and continue to fight.
I have recently found myself praying this prayer, as of late, and I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you. Not so you can pray this exact prayer, rather, that you would be encouraged to continue to fight for freedom…
“Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Thank you for seeing me and knowing my whole life story and still choosing the cross for my benefit. Thank you for suffering on my behalf. Thank you for taking the punishment I deserved onto yourself.
Jesus, thank you for every trial and season of suffering that you have allowed me to walk through, so I can better see you. Help me not to quit. I ask for strength to keep fighting. I want to see you better and look more like you, whatever it takes, because you're worth fighting for. Show me the places in my life that don't look like you. So, I can fight for the freedom you paid for. I love you, Lord. Amen.”