Is this really freedom?
The Netflix original series When They See Us tells the true story of five teenagers wrongly convicted of rape.
Sentenced to years in prison, they not only have their freedom and family taken away, but they endure the hatred of inmates and the public for their alleged crime.
Before we were Christians, the Bible talks about us in a similar way. We may not have been falsely accused of sexual abuse, but we were under God’s judgment (Romans 1:18) and imprisoned in a life of sin (Romans 6:20).
But the big difference was that we deserved it.
Now we’ve been set free from the prison of sin. Not because we were proven innocent, but because Jesus paid the price for our freedom and new life on the cross (Galatians 5:1).
A new life, however, doesn’t necessarily mean an easy life.
When the five teenagers were released from prison, things were tough. One got caught up in drugs and went back to prison. One had to deal with his father who let him down.
Another feared people knowing he was on the sex offenders register. Another struggled to integrate back into his community.
Being free doesn’t always mean living the good life. And this is true of the Christian life too.
Of course, there’s the sure hope of heaven. But our fight against sin is hard, and we often wrongly feel enslaved to sin.
Then there’s the suffering we’ll endure for being a Christian: ‘Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.’ (2 Timothy 3:12)
But Jesus promises it’ll be worth it when we go to be with him (John 14:2). And so long as we’re in this world, he promises us the one thing we need: himself.
‘Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matthew 28:20
So we can keep going.