Scripture Reading: Exodus 11
How free do you want to be? If you want to get a little bit free, you only have to make a little bit of sacrifice. But if you want to get totally free, you have to make a total sacrifice.
I’ve ridden on a few swings with my kids before and there’s a bit of a thrill that comes with it. But one day I went on a 100 foot bungee swing with them and it was a totally different experience!
After my six year old son and I were pulled half-way up to the top, he asked “Are we there yet?” When we were pulled still higher and higher, he hung onto my arm tighter and tighter. When we got to the top, I counted to three before pulling the cord that would plunge us down the 100 foot drop:
One! Two! Three! Whewwwww! The sense of freedom that came in those next few seconds was overwhelming as we swung down and then back up again over the crowd below us.
Moses had the chance to get a little bit of freedom for the Israelite slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh offered Moses the chance to go into the desert for a few days with just the men. Moses said, “No.” Then Pharaoh said Moses could go with the women and children, too, but just leave the animals behind. Moses refused. Each time Pharaoh offered a compromise, Moses held out for total freedom, because that’s what God had promised him.
In Exodus chapter 11, God tells Moses that total freedom is just around the corner, but it wouldn’t come without cost.
So Moses said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt – worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any man or animal.’ Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Exodus 11:4-7).
Ultimate victory comes only from ultimate sacrifice.
None of the Israelites’ sons would die in this way, but God called upon them to make a sacrifice, too―of a lamb. When they put the blood of the lamb on the doorframes of their homes, the Angel of the Lord would “pass over” them and not kill their sons, because their sacrifice had already been made.
There are times when something has to die so something else can live.
I heard a woman speak one night about dying to ourselves so that God could live through us. She quoted Madame Guyon, a Christian who lived in France in the 1600’s, who talked about this total surrender as “plunging your will into the depths of God’s will, there to be lost forever.”
I was enthralled by this vision. But a friend of mine, who had heard the same talk, was scared to death by it. He wasn’t sure if he could trust God or not, and wasn’t wanting to take the chance to find out.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the bungee swing, either, until I saw a sign on the ride that said, “100% safety.” That’s what I needed to know to enjoy the ride of my life. Maybe you’re not sure you want to totally surrender everything in your life to Christ. Let me assure you that based on my experience, the experience of others, and most importantly, the words of God Himself in the Bible, that God is trustworthy. He loves you, cares about you, and has already made the ultimate sacrifice for you. Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b).
If you want a little bit of freedom, trust Jesus a little bit. But if you want total freedom, put your faith in Christ for everything in your life. Everything! Then you’ll find out the truth of Jesus’ words: “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! (John 8:36)
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.