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Today I am going to reveal how to live in freedom. It doesn’t matter who is trying to take it away from you. Freedom is yours in Jesus Christ and no one can take it away.
Jesus already made a way for you to experience freedom in your body, your mind, freedom from your past, freedom from sin. So much freedom is available to you, and I am going to show you how to walk in it.
All throughout the Bible you’ll find that God’s way to freedom centers around relationships. And that’s kind of odd because most of your problems come from relationships. Am I right?
But isn’t it just like the devil to pervert God’s system? He couldn’t create his own, so he decided to use broken relationships to lead you to pain, hangups, habits, addictions. But God uses healthy relationships to lead you into freedom. Take a look:
James 5:16 NLT – Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
God’s system is honesty and transparency in relationships. That’s how you find and walk in freedom.
Do whatever it takes to build relationships here at church. Because at some point, you are going to need someone in your corner to pray for you so you may be healed.
Don’t wait until your life falls apart. Build the relationships now.
Freedom Through the Cross
Although relationship with other believers is one of the ways we find freedom, there is nothing about God that is one-dimensional. We also find freedom through the cross of Jesus Christ.
We tend to casually position the cross as a cool symbol on our walls or around our necks. But there is so much depth to the cross of Christ that we tend to look over.
1 Corinthians 1:18 NLT – The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.
The cross is not just a symbol. It is the power of God. And everything that Jesus went through leading up to the cross was intentional and provided something very specific for us.
Jesus getting whipped had purpose. The crown of thorns had purpose. The nails had purpose. And even the spear in Jesus’ side had purpose.
Everything that was done to Jesus had purpose: so that the power of God could change every area of your life.
The cross is the very power of God. It’s not a necklace, it’s not wall decor, it’s God’s power working miracles in your life.
Religion Captures Jesus
Let me take you back to just a few months before Jesus went to the cross. He was teaching, healing, and loving people. He never did anything wrong. Jesus lived a perfect life.
There was a group of religious people who hated Jesus. They hated Him so much that they arrested Him without a good reason. I mean, what can you do to someone who has lived a perfect life?
They wanted Him dead, but couldn’t find anything to charge Him with until this:
Matthew 26:63-67 NKJV – The high priest said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said.” … Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands.
Since Jesus said He was the Son of God, they charged Him with blasphemy. They thought they finally found something against Him.
Little did they know, He really was the Son of God which they found out after they killed Him.
What’s interesting about this whole thing is that God could have picked any time to send His son to die for our sins. Yet, He picked the time in history when execution was the worst.
Today, the worst that would have happened to Jesus is lethal injection. But God chose the time when people were executed on a cross.
The most painful, drawn-out execution that has ever existed.
The death of Christ was prophesied in exact detail eight hundred years before it happened by the prophet Isaiah. That’s amazing. The whole time, God knew what was coming.
Isaiah prophesied about four different things that Jesus would go through:
Isaiah 53:5 NIV – But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
These things didn’t just happen TO Jesus; they happened FOR you.
These four things represent something that Jesus did FOR you. I’m going to explain each of them not in the order of this verse, but in the order they actually happened.
The first step in any Roman execution was scourging.
They would use a tool called “the cat of nine tails”. It was 9 leather strips connected to a handle. They would tie bone, rock, wire, and glass to the leather strips.
They would then soak the leather strips in water to make them heavier. Finally, with two hands, they would embed all the sharp objects into the flesh and then yank down.
This happened to Jesus thirty-nine times. Thirteen across one shoulder, thirteen across the other shoulder, and thirteen down the middle of his spine.
Roman law didn’t allow more than 39 times because most died before they even made it to the cross. Isaiah tells us why Jesus was whipped:
1. The Whip: Freedom in my body.
Isaiah 53:5 NKJV – …by His stripes we are healed.
Every time the whip hit Jesus it provided healing for sickness and disease. He didn’t just pay the price for your sin, He paid the price for your sickness as well.
God does not give us sickness and disease to teach us a lesson. Satan is the author of sickness and disease and Jesus paid the price for you to be free from it all.
Am I saying that God still heals today? You better believe it. The Great Physician is still working miracles every day.
The question is, why doesn’t everyone get healed?
There’s no simple answer. But what I can tell you is this: God is not withholding healing from anybody. It is always His will to heal. That means that the hangup is somewhere with the receiver.
I’ve seen God heal incurable cancer. I have watched with my own eyes as someone’s leg grew out because one was shorter than the other.
I’ve witnessed God perform amazing healing miracles. At the same time, just a few years ago, my father-in-law died of cancer at the age of 50.
I believe he could have been miraculously healed. But when he was laying in the hospital, my wife asked if he wanted a miracle. Surprisingly, he said no. He was ready to go to his eternal home.
Back then, I didn’t understand. But now I do. As I’ve been studying the end times, I’ve been thinking a lot about how close heaven is. And I am really excited to go there soon.
So, am I going to abandon faith in healing because someone didn’t get healed? No. I trust God and I believe His Word no matter what is going on around me.
Healing has been YOURS
Some of you are going to receive healing today through the Word of God being spoken. Listen to this:
1 Peter 2:24 NKJV – Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.
It’s past tense! You have already been healed.
Let this scripture cause your faith to rise! Step into the healing that’s already been provided for you.
After Jesus took the stripes on His back for your healing, the guards did something they wouldn’t normally do. They took Jesus to the place where the guards would hang out so they could mock Him.
They blindfolded Him and slapped Him in the face as they said, “If you are a prophet like you say you are, then tell us who just slapped you.”
Of course, we all know that Jesus could have told them who it was. He could have even turned them into a puff of smoke if He wanted to. But He didn’t. He just sat there in complete peace and quiet.
They slapped Him, they spit on Him, but they couldn’t get a reaction out of Him so they decided to make a crown out of a thorn branch that had two-inch thorns and then shoved it onto His head.
Not only did this make blood run down His face, but it also caused intense pressure in His head. Isaiah saw this when he said, “the punishment that brought us peace was on him.”
Isn’t it interesting that when you don’t have peace, it’s because of an attack in your mind? The crown of thorns has purpose:
2. The Thorns: Freedom in my mind.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV – …the punishment that brought us peace was on Him.
Are you anxious about what is going on in the world? Is there something in your own life causing anxiety? Or maybe something a friend is going through?
The fear, the anxiety, the stress – it’s not for you! Jesus didn’t come just so you could get into heaven. Jesus came to give you peace!
John 14:27 NKJV – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
If you aren’t living in peace, then you are rejecting a gift that Jesus gave you. Sure, you can live without peace and still go to heaven. But why leave one of the benefits of your salvation on the table?
You don’t have to be troubled. You don’t have to be afraid. Jesus gave you a gift of peace that doesn’t even make sense to the world.
If you are wondering why you aren’t experiencing this peace right now, let me show you:
Isaiah 26:3 NLT – You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Where is your trust?
Where’s your trust? Is it in your savings account or your job? Is it in your spouse or someone else in your life? How about in how many likes you get on Instagram?
Is it in the government? Probably not at this point.
If you fix your thoughts on what the news is telling you, or trying to figure out what is going to happen next, or worrying about the economy, you are going to get the world’s gift to you: fear and anxiety.
But if you turn off the world and fix your thoughts on God by prioritizing the Bible, spending time in prayer, and building relationships with other believers, you are going to get what Jesus gives you, overwhelming peace.
Every time you see a picture of Jesus with the crown of thorns, remember that He did that for you. So you could have freedom in your mind. So that you could have peace.
After they tortured and mocked Him, they brought Jesus back out into the public and made Him carry His own cross to the place where they would crucify Him. Then they nailed Him to the cross.
There is significance to the nails that went through His hands and feet. Your hands represent everything you’ve ever done. Your feet represent everywhere you’ve ever been.
And that’s why Isaiah said, “He was pierced for our transgressions.”
3. The Nails: Freedom from my past.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV – He was pierced for our transgressions…
Jesus took the nails through His hands and feet to give you freedom from everything you’ve ever done and everywhere you’ve ever been.
We talk a lot about how Jesus forgives our sins. And that is absolutely true, but there’s more to it than that:
Hebrews 8:12 NLT – And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.
If a kid broke the neighbor’s window when playing ball, the dad would probably go make amends with the neighbor and pay for a new window. But you better know when he gets back, little Johnny is going to get a whoopin.
In other words, the dad paid for it, but he didn’t forget it. And that is exactly how so many Christians view God. You know Jesus paid for your sins, but you think He still remembers it.
No. He doesn’t. He’s done forgot and He’ll never bring it up again. He didn’t file it away for later. He burned it up, never to be seen or talked about again. And He actually goes further than that.
How many of you know that you can have something paid for, and your daddy forgets it, but you don’t forget it? Everyone else is good, but you continue to carry around shame, guilt, and regret.
So, Jesus not only paid for your sin. He not only forgot about it. But:
Hebrews 9:14 NLT – Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God.
He takes the stain of sin off of your life. And some of you know your sins have been forgiven but you are still carrying around that shame. Jesus wants to free you from that right now.
Freedom from your past belongs to you, and today is the day for you to step into that freedom and let God purify your conscience so you can walk free from shame and freely worship God.
It was many years into my walk with Christ before I understood this truth.
I told you my testimony a few weeks ago about how Jesus delivered me from homosexuality. What I didn’t tell you is that it took me years to be delivered from the shame of my past.
I carried it around like an ugly pet. I thought I deserved to carry that shame, I thought that holding on to my shame somehow helped pay for things thing that I had done.
But then I found out, it had already been paid for. All those years I was trying to pay off an account that had a zero balance.
Now I know. Jesus didn’t just deliver me from homosexuality. He delivered me from shame and regret. So I don’t hold on to my past. Jesus already paid for it, forgave it, and forgot about it.
Freedom from sin, not freedom to sin
I don’t use this as an excuse to live a sloppy life. How could I? The power of Jesus Christ delivered me from sin. So, I choose to live in freedom.
So there Jesus was, hanging on the cross. And at about three o’clock in the afternoon He breathed His last breath.
They were kind of surprised because they expected Him to last longer. So one of the guards took a spear and jabbed it up under His rib cage and into His heart to make sure He was really dead.
Out of His chest cavity came a mixture of blood and water. Medical science would tell you that this reveals that His heart had already ruptured before they even stuck the spear in Him.
So, how did Jesus die? From blood loss? From pain? What about suffocation? No. He died because His heart was crushed.
Have you ever had your heart crushed? Maybe by a divorce, or by someone you love dying way before they were supposed to, or by a grown child headed in the wrong direction, or by a business failure.
Jesus knew we would all experience our hearts getting crushed by the circumstances of this life. And the pain He felt because of our pain was so intense that it caused his Heart to rupture.
That’s why the spear represents this:
4. The Spear: Freedom in my heart.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV – …He was crushed for our iniquities…
Jesus gave you freedom in your body. He gave you freedom in your mind. He gave you freedom from your past. And He also wants to free you from all the pain you’ve experienced.
Psalms 147:3 NKJV – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
People have probably told you you’d never recover from what happened to you. But Jesus says otherwise. Today, Jesus wants to heal your broken heart and restore your innocence and joy.