Summary: Jesus came to free us from our sins. But then, why do so many not sense the need to to be freed from those chains? To them it seems that the phrase "freed from sin" is mere Christianese. But is it?
OPEN: How many of you have ever heard of a movie/play entitled “The King and I”?
The movie version starred Yul Brynner and Debra Kerr, and has been popular for decades. But many people don’t realize the movie and play were based on a true story of a widowed Englishwoman named Anna who accepted the position of governess for the King of Siam (Thailand) in the late 1800s.
I just read the book last month, and was intrigued by one of stories it told.
It seems that one day, while on an errand, Anna got lost. “She found herself in a dark alley, from which the only exit appeared to be a door of polished brass in a high brick wall. Half-afraid that she was trespassing in some forbidden place; she pushed open the door, then stepped over the sill into a paved courtyard. In the middle of the garden near a small pond of water a woman was sitting on the ground, chained to a post. She was nursing a naked child about 4 years old.”
In a conversation with this woman, Anna discovered that her son’s name was Thūk - meaning “Sorrow”. She explained that she had been born a slave, but her freedom had been purchased by an Indian merchant who had fallen in love with her and desired to marry her. The transaction was approved under Siamese law, and the woman began a life of happy freedom.
Her mistress, however, had never been reconciled to the idea of letting her go, so one day, about 3 months after her marriage, she was seized and brought back to this courtyard and chained to the post. She had been chained there now for 4 years.
Anna returned to the palace and informed the King… who rescued this poor woman from her chains.
The woman’s husband was so grateful he contacted Anna to thank her and told her that their son’s name had been changed: to “Freedom”
(from the book “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon)
Jesus said “… if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
But freed from what?
Freed from chains… the chains of sin.
Peter wrote that Jesus “… bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
That’s why Jesus came.
He came to seek and save the lost, and to loose them from their chains of sin.
That’s why He came. That’s why He died. That’s why He rose from the grave.
It was the single most important thing Jesus could do for us.
And yet… some folks don’t act like they sense the importance of being freed from their chains. They don’t sense the NEED to be FREED from their sin.
They seem to be much more concerned about being freed from bad government.
Or from financial bondage.
Or from a boring and unsatisfying life.
But free from sin?
Not so much.
There doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency or importance for some folks.
And as I was working on this sermon it puzzled me why this would be.
And the longer I puzzled on it, the more I realized there were 3 reasons I could think of as to why people wouldn’t want to be freed from their chains.
The first reason that occurred to me was this:
They think they’re ok just the way they are.
Yes, they suffer guilt and shame.
Yes, they experience self-loathing and self-hatred.
But, after a while, they get used to it.
It eventually becomes NORMAL for them.
It’s just how life is!
ILLUS: Now… I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m near-sighted.
I have to wear glasses in order to see anything clearly more than a 1 ½ from my face.
(I took off my glasses and held my hand out as far as I could see it clearly, to illustrate)
Without my glasses, all you folks are just blurry images to me.
The state of Indiana says I need to have glasses to drive.
Now I could drive without them… but it’s really not a good idea.
I’ve worn glasses for so long that I sometimes forget that I even have them on.
But there are times when glasses can be a real nuisance
Times when I can’t find them. They weren’t where I left them.
There are times when they fog up
Or they get dirty
Or they get scratched
And then, every 5 years or so… I have to buy NEW glasses.
Now if I could get a free surgery to correct my vision … do you think I’d that?
Oh yeah, in a heartbeat.
But that costs a lot of money and I don’t want spend the money.