by BCBP Editor


Scripture: Daniel 3:14-95; John 8:31-42; John 11:1-45
The stories of Lazarus in the N.T. and of Daniel’s three friends in the O.T. reveal to us several important aspects of freedom.

In John 11 Jesus called out to Lazarus, “Come out!” while he told the onlookers, “Untie him, and let him go free.” Jesus is not afraid of the stench of death, of the decaying effect of sin. He comes right to us and calls our name, calling us forth to new life. He tells us to untie the bonds of sin and enter into His freedom.

The three young men in Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, are inspiring witnesses of the freedom that comes from faithful trust in God. When their physical freedom was threatened because they refused to obey the unjust law of the king, their spiritual freedom shone out. The foundation of their freedom was their unwavering trust in God and their determination to obey Him. Put to the test, they choose faithfulness to God over the preservation of their lives. They would rather die than become slaves of sin.

In John 8 Jesus wants his listeners to remain free to obey the Law, but he also wants them to know the freedom of the Holy Spirit: the freedom to hear the Spirit speak words of wisdom, love, and guidance; the freedom from self-centered concerns and anxieties; the freedom to do the very things that Jesus was doing – a freedom based on the power of God living and active in their hearts.

Freedom in Christ is something we never stop needing, even if we’ve been walking with the Lord for a long time. In this Easter season, consider what freedom looks like for you.

In our daily tests of faith, we cannot determine what God will do, but we can determine, with the help of his grace, what we will do. We can reject sin and put our trust in God. The more fully we choose to live by faith, the more we experience true freedom, the “glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).
freedom jumping
Reflection/Discussion Starters

–What is your perception of true freedom?
–Have you been ‘imprisoned’ for quite a while without even knowing it?
–What do you think has been imprisoning you – a long-standing resentment or past hurt, feelings of being inadequate or unloved, etc.? The bondage of trying to be the person other people want or expect you to be? Try to identify and name your “bonds”.
–Do you need the freedom to become the person you want to be – more patient, more considerate, more open to the Holy Spirit?
–What now can you do, or start doing, to more actively experience the freedom of Christ in the Holy Spirit?

References: The Word Among Us, March 5-April 20, 2014, pg 62. Pondering the Word, THE ANAWIM WAY, March 5-April 17, 2014, pp 195, 196.

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