Summary: Jesus paid the price for our emancipation. We no longer have to be slaves to sin or to any human being
THE DOOR IS OPEN, YOU’RE FREE TO GO!
Pastor Talbert W. Swan, II, M.Div.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
SUBJECT: THE DOOR IS OPEN, YOU’RE FREE TO GO
In his book Exodus and Emancipation: Biblical and African-American Slavery, Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Chelst gives a unique perspective on the saga of the Jewish people’s enslavement and departure from Egypt by comparing it with the African-American slave experience in the United States, their emancipation and subsequent fight for dignity and equality. The comparison enriches the reader’s understanding of both experiences.
Both peoples suffered centuries-long oppression, with the African-American slave population at the time of emancipation in the 1860s roughly double that of the Israelites at the time of the biblical Exodus.
Whatever the setting, slavery takes a terrible toll on the individual as well as the community. When you look into the Biblical narrative and the documented experience of our forefathers in this land you will note that there are social, psychological, religious, and philosophical dimensions of the slave experience and mentality.
The linkage between the slavery of the Israelites and that of African Americans is nothing new.
Just as the Israelites desired to be free, the story of their exodus from Egypt resonated with our ancestors when they found themselves in bondage in a strange land.
It is quite amazing that our African ancestors were taught a form of Christianity that would make them better tools of service for their oppressors, yet adopted a theology of liberation that would not accept “slaves be obedient to your masters” as a directive to remain in bondage. They developed a philosophy that supported the eradication of the racist institution of slavery that kept them from being free, as their God desired them to be.
Africans like Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth translated their understandings of the Bible into a justified battle for emancipation against their racist white oppressors. They used the Bible, as an example of the fact that God intended for them to be free. When we take a closer look at our Lesson today—The Word “Emancipation” is really another Word for Freedom.
THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
—In other Words when you are Emancipated from Something or Someone you are “Freed from the Restraint, Control, or Power of another.”—“Emancipation” means you are Free from Certain Influences and Bondages.— I believe that most of us are somewhat familiar with the word “Emancipation” because History teaches us about the “Emancipation Proclamation.”