Thursday, September 15, 2011

Free, At Last

Lord, by Your cross and resurrection, You have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.

Set us free? Even as I said those words at mass this morning my mind switched over onto a different train of thought. Even as my mouth followed the priest and everyone else present down the continuing mainline of the mass, my mind switched over onto a rail siding, and stopped there. There was something at this destination that I felt I had to pick up --- or perhaps deliver.

What was Jesus setting us free from, by His cross and resurrection? Free from sin? No, I am living witness that He did not deliver me from sin; it comes and remains with me far too easily. Free from hell? Oh no, I fear that destination may well be in the cards for me; I pray that prayer MOST sincerely: “Free us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven …” --- especially me. So then what?

In truth, when I think of what Jesus gained for us (and for God) by His cross and resurrection, I think of heaven. The doors of heaven were once again opened for us. His death made it possible for us to be reconciled with Him and BE with Him forever, a huge, unimaginable gift. His cross gave me a gift beyond my yearnings, beyond anything I could imagine I could ever earn by myself, or deserve. It was a huge gift, this possible destination of bliss for all eternity. But in giving this gift, what did He take away; what does that prayer mean when it says: You have set us free?

In meditating on the book of Job in recent days, I discovered that at the time of Job many Jewish people did not believe in a life after death. After Adam, Genesis told them man was cast out of Eden. A Messiah was eventually promised, but He was not yet here. For Job, then, this life was all there was. That’s why Job’s trust is a most remarkable thing. With no promise of a heaven for all his earthly sufferings, still Job chose to trust in God. It was a remarkable example he set for the Jews.

But Jesus, by His cross and resurrection set us free. What He set us free from was, I believe, was the life that Job saw. After Jesus, we were no longer limited to this earthly life, but an eternal continuing life, was ours to be had. Jesus set us free from the limits of the book of Job. Life and death had a totally new meaning than that understood by Job. We weren’t just living our lives in obedience, as slaves, but in trust, as sons. Our Father showed us how and why to live good lives, and/or bear sufferings --- so we would be with Him forever.

In a way, our required trust in God has lessened from that required of Job, for we now trust in the promises of Jesus, and man has seen or heard Jesus. He has lived as one of us. “Seeing is believing”, and mankind has seen.

Jesus has set us free from the limitations of this world, and opened our eyes. We were all blind men, but now we can see.

We are indeed set free. Praise be to Our Lord Jesus Christ. You have set us free. You are indeed the Savior of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting interpretation. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing it.