WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL

If the Son Sets You Free!
By Pastor Jeremy

September 23, 2022
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:36
In one of my favorite stories, The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes tries his hardest to escape from prison but all his plans and efforts fail. Yet, something finally happens that sets Edmond free. Faria, a priest and innocent cellmate who befriended Edmond, suddenly dies and the prison guards put the priest’s dead body in a sack and sow it up to be taken away. However, before they come back for the sack, Edmond sneaks into the priest’s cell to say his last goodbyes and suddenly is struck by an idea. He thinks, “Since only the dead leave this place freely, let us take the place of the dead!” Without wasting any time, Edmond removes the body, hides it in his cell, slips into Faria’s sack, and sows it up from the inside. Moments later the guards come and remove the body, but the body is actually Edmonds who is brought out of prison and he escapes as a free man.

How was Edmond set free? By personally identifying with the death of a priest. Only because the priest's death "became" Edmond's death was Edmond released from prison. This is a beautiful picture of how Jesus, the Son of God and Great High Priest, sets us free. Jesus is the innocent Priest who befriends us, dies on the cross for our sins, and the way that Jesus’ death sets us free is when, like Edmond, we identify with it by faith.

Imagine it like this. If you committed a number of crimes and you’re caught, but on the way to the court to receive your sentence, you happen to die, what can the law do to you now that you’re dead? Nothing! Because you died, the law can no longer enforce its demands or enact its penalties. Likewise, when a person receives Jesus’ life and death as their life and death before God, they are brought out from under all the demands and penalties of God’s Law because all the penalties of the law have already been perfectly fulfilled in Jesus.

This is precisely why the Apostle Paul reminds Christians that they have all “died with Christ” (Rom.6:8; Col.3:3, etc.). And because of our union with Christ in his death, "There is therefore now no condemnation (judgment against us) for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). By faith, a Christian is united to Jesus and his death brings about our freedom. We're no longer in the courtroom of God. Through Christ we have been released and transferred into the family room of God forever!

Dear God, thank for your gospel that tells me that through the life and death of another, namely Jesus, I can be set free from sin's penalties and sin's condemning power. Help me to not live as though I'm still in the courtroom trying to justify myself before you. Help me to embrace the freedom you've given to me and to use that freedom for the good of others. Amen. 
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