Sermon Illustrations

Freedom Isn’t Free

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5: 1

No, freedom isn’t free. It comes at great cost for those “buying it.” The United States found out just how high the price could be in the final days of World War II when trying to capture a Pacific Island from the Japanese to use as a refueling base for our B-29 bombers.

The strategy of "no Japanese survivors" touched at the heart of the Japanese sense of sacrifice of the individual for the greater good. No foreign army in Japan’s 5,000 year history had trod on Japanese soil and, if it were in their power in early 1945, none ever would. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers present at the beginning of the battle of Iwo Jima, the ferocious fighting left 20,000 dead, and only 216 taken prisoner. The Allied forces suffered 27,909 casualties, with 6,825 killed in action. All for one tiny Pacific island. The number of American casualties there was greater than the total Allied casualties on D-Day.

Nearly all of you would recognize the famous photograph of the American flag being raised on the island of Iwo Jima. Taken by journalist Joe Rosenthal, it is said to be the most widely copied photo in American history. It has become a symbol of our effort to secure our nation’s freedoms and the struggle to protect them. At least two of the men pictured were killed in action within days of the photograph. They had paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedoms.

But, there is One who sacrificed even more to give us our freedoms: Jesus Christ. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)

Jesus voluntarily sacrificed His own life on the cruel, Roman cross for sin, but not for His own! It was for yours and mine! Scripture says in Hebrews 4:15 “…but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.” He came to set us free—to give us our freedom from the sins that bind us and “come to [our] senses and escape from the devil who takes [men] captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:26) Your freedom from eternal death and hell came at a huge price. Jesus Christ, God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, left his place of honor in heaven, put on the garment of humanity, lived a perfect life so that He might qualify to die in our place.

Never scorn the sacrifice of the Americans who gave their lives for your freedoms. More importantly, do not disrespect the Lord Jesus and the sacrifice He made. Repent, believe, and receive his merciful forgiveness today.

Don’t allow the blood of Jesus to be wasted in your life. Receive Him into your heart by asking forgiveness of your sins. His sacrifice covers them ALL! He will set you FREE!

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