Jesus, the fulfiller of prophecies, the sacrificial lamb, and the true son of God was also the destroyer of orthodoxy. We are free of sin redeemed by His grace alone. Who would have thought that He freed us from everything else too?
Jesus, rightfully and necessarily came to Earth to save us from our sins. As Christians we can agree upon this, but He also came to break the rules in fact all the rules. Some of us may disagree, but let’s explore Jesus’ teachings and ask what He did on his pilgrimage to save the common sinner. More than just freeing us from our own personal sin Jesus freed us from all sin including that which resides outside our control. This also includes the freedom He provided from all orthodoxy, rules and social stigmas.
His pilgrimage reminds us several different times that He has come to save us, to set us free. In the book of Matthew he explicitly tells one of his audiences that he, “… did not come to bring peace, but a sword of truth”. Meaning He came to wage war, a war so profound and necessary that it’s after effects would be felt throughout the remainder of human history. A jarring realization to both sides of the aisle on the one hand some thought he would be a conqueror capable of destroying the Roman which they viewed as the fulfillment of prophecy. On the other side people were and are still today, taken back by His statement because we would like to think of Him as the greatest peacemaker, and not a warrior.
This illusion must be dispelled though Christ is indeed the greatest warrior that has ever been known. We know this, because He waged war on all fronts and won.
More specifically Christ came to wage war against sin and evil, and to fight this war He brought a sword. This sword was a weapon, but it is not intended to be used against any person. Rather, He brought it to cut away all the chains and bonds that ruled over man, freeing them for service to God. His actions were a complete upset to all the power structures that humans were exposed to. No longer was man to sacrifice to a god, instead God had come to serve man and suffer with him. No longer was your allegiance owed to a king or nation that built a wall for you to live behind, instead Jesus came to become the sacrificial lamb so that your only allegiance is owed to God in heaven, whom provides you everything. No longer, and this is the best one, no longer do you have to live in fear of death. Jesus came and won that war too!
Jesus sacrifice means all your debts are paid! You have no need of servitude to any man, statute or ideal, it is only you and God in the end of it all. Now will you benefit from having friends, government, family ties, yes of course! The point is to recognize that we are freed of all bonds that seem too strong for us to break alone.
Jesus was so gung-ho to severe any bonds of servitude to the flesh that his sword of truth even cut the importance of blood ties away from men. In Luke 14:25-27 Jesus says you cannot follow Him and stay with your family in any capacity. Now, when we realize that he is speaking to the very first Christians (followers of Christ) He is reminding them that their fathers, mothers, and families do not worship the true God. They must leave these sinful people to forge new paths, built on the foundation of Christ alone. Will it be easy? No, probably not. Will Jesus be with us, yes, all the time!
Now, that Jesus’ purpose has been fulfilled, the common people are free from the orthodoxy of church and the rule of kings! Now, they are free of all of it even their blood ties. It is some incredible gift that Jesus has given people, freedom from everything! No rulers to rule you, no families you owe a debt to, no churches that will make sacrifices on your behalf, no forbearance of death in your life. No, Jesus gave us the direct connection to God in heaven on high. True trust in the saving grace He offers means true freedom from social stigma, worldly prisons, and spiritual levity everywhere, and all the time.
You can keep nothing from this physical world. This physical world cannot keep your spirit from God either.
We know that Jesus was not a peacemaker in life, he even states so himself. Everywhere he went He was an upset to the status quo using his sword abundantly. Whether entering a temple to drive out merchants. Telling an adulterer that she is not condemned, or when he accused the crowd’s fathers of worshipping the devil. Jesus was not one to shy away from confronting the situation at hand, always headstrong, speaking wisely and with a full amount of tact. There seems to be not one social taboo that he didn’t break during his mission. Each time He swung His sword he let it cut deep though.
Driving out the merchants in the temples was not only a direct attack against the merchants, but it was a reminder to the needless use of sacrilege to the common man. They made a mockery of His Father’s house, because ultimately God does not need us to sacrifice material goods to Him, or purchase indulgences, or confess sins to another person. Does confession of sin to someone else help you grow? Yes of course, but if no one else were around the onus of your actions must still be accountable to God. He is the highest sense of order and justice we can know. Purchasing material goods does not service to Him, he has no need of that. He has no need of a condemning favor when grace is sufficient for you.
The adulterer was sinning, we know, and commonplace for surrounding people would be to join the condemnation of another by throwing stone. Jesus rises above this challenge and tells her she is not condemned, but forgiven! She must leave this sinful life if it is to be worthwhile. The sin will be exonerated when you have asked for forgiveness, but not before. Society cannot commit you to its evils forever, especially not when God is your ally.
God is your ally even when your own family is not able to be, or won’t. Often our family ties can be the most toxic of relationships, but Jesus reminds us that we are not our fathers or mothers. We can indeed go our own way by His guiding grace. Some of us may feel condemned from the onset of our births, but we find refuge in Him when we realize the truth. We are not our father’s sin. We are not our fathers. This is the truth Jesus came to bring.
His sword cut a swathe of truth so deep in society that we are the continuation of His teachings. We, as Americans today, can choose to wield this sword of truth too. We are not bound by the world, we can rise above and build everything for the glory of God.
A true following of Christ, to which I fall short of too, means to confront evil wherever it may live, while knowing full well that God is with us always. It is this realization that has lead men and families to circumnavigate the world preaching the good news. It is His saving grace that has built the world as we know.
What we do with this truth is up to us.
Thanks for reading.