“. . . To proclaim liberty to the captives . . .” Luke 4:18
None but Jesus can give deliverance to captives. Real liberty comes from him only. It is a liberty righteously bestowed; for the Son, who is Heir of all things, has a right to make men free. The saints honor the justice of God, which now secures their salvation. It is a liberty which has been dearly purchased. Christ speaks it by his power, but he bought it by his blood. He makes you free, but it is by his own bonds. You go clear, because he bore your burden for you: you are set at liberty, because he has suffered in your stead.
But, though dearly purchased, he freely gives it. Jesus asks nothing of us as a preparation for this liberty. He finds us sitting in sackcloth and ashes, and bids us put on the beautiful array of freedom; he saves us just as we are, and all without our help or merit. When Jesus sets free, the liberty is perpetually entailed; no chains can bind again. Let the Master say to me, “Captive, I have delivered you,” and it is done forever. Satan may plot to enslave us, but if the Lord is on our side, whom shall we fear? The world, with its temptations, may seek to ensnare us, but mightier is he who is for us than all they who are against us. The machinations of our own deceitful hearts may harass and annoy us, but he who has begun the good work in us will carry it on and perfect it to the end.
The foes of God and the enemies of man may gather their hosts together, and come with concentrated fury against us, but if God acquits, who is he that condemns? Not more free is the eagle which mounts to his rocky eyrie, and afterwards outsoars the clouds, than the soul which Christ has delivered. If we are no more under the law, but free from its curse, let our liberty be practically exhibited in our serving God with gratitude and delight. “I am your servant, and the son of your handmaid: you have loosed my bonds.” “Lord, what will you have me to do?”
Adapted from Morning and Evening.