Most people cannot wait until 2020 is over. It has been a year that most people would just as soon forget. So let the countdown begin.
September 22, 1862. There were 3 million people in our country who could not wait for that year to be over and were literally counting down each day.
On that date, Abraham Lincoln signed The Emancipation Proclamation which set a date (January 1, 1863) for the 3,000,000+ slaves in America to be freed. The proclamation officially recast the Civil War as a fight against slavery – a fight that many people would suggest is still going on 158 years later.
Even though slavery was officially abolished in principle it did not mean that it was abolished in practice. In fact, it did not become law for another 3 years with the passing of the 13th Amendment – but the Emancipation Proclamation was a very important first step towards ending slavery.
In Luke 4 Jesus applied an Isaiah 61 Scripture text to Himself when He said:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
His proclamation became “law” when He rose from the dead, amending the old covenant and providing a way for everyone enslaved to sin to be emancipated. Romans 8:1-2 puts it this way: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
A few other choice verses to ponder:
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
Freedom is a wonderful thing. And yet many people, even believers who have been liberated from bondage to sin, do not experience genuine freedom in their lives. They still live in many ways as if they had never been emancipated. Don’t live “as if” lives. Cling to the cross daily and let the power of the cross and the power of the resurrection enable you to live in the freedom that the Lord created you to experience. A freedom that allows you to enjoy walking in the newness of life and savoring each day as a gift from God.
And never forget that you are very loved!