God offers us forgiveness and freedom from guilt through his great mercy and his unending grace. Does your life manifest this freedom? Satan, “the great accuser of the brethren,” seems to excel at stealing our joy by imprisoning us in cells of guilt and shame.
If we resist the devil’s condemning lies and embrace the freedom that Christ offers, we can be channels of grace and mercy in this world. But how can we offer mercy and grace to others when we ourselves are bound up in straight-jackets of self-condemnation?
Many of us remain stuck in prisons of guilt even though the keys of forgiveness and freedom have been given to us. Jesus paid the ransom fee on the cross and has set us free! Yet some of us have become so accustomed to prison life that we still listen to our old jailer’s lies.
In the courtroom of eternal destiny, Satan is the prosecuting attorney with a litany of accusations. But Jesus Christ our defense attorney argues that his blood has washed away our sins. When we open our eyes to the truth, we see that the Almighty Judge who decides our fate is no other than Christ himself! (Jesus said that he and the Father are one and the same.) So we can rest in the freedom of forgiveness – knowing that God’s mercy has expunged our sin, and that the unearned favor of his grace protects us from the judgment we deserve.
When we step out of our prison cells we naturally want to share the joy of our release with others. This amazing story of God’s love and mercy toward us is too good to be kept to ourselves. We who have been set free want to extend this wondrous freedom to all the captives we meet. Having found the keys to freedom (Christ’s mercy and grace), it becomes our great privilege to share these keys with other prisoners – unlocking their jail doors as we run with joy into everlasting freedom!
In the fourth chapter of Luke, Jesus reads from Isaiah 61:1-2: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then Jesus says, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
May his words and the freedom he offers release you from all guilt and shame. And may the Spirit heal you and empower you to be merciful to all – no matter what unkindness they unfairly unleash on you.