Why do we stay enslaved when our debt is paid? How foolish have we become that we would rather sit in prison instead of roam free?
33 They answered Him, “ We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Yesterday we saw Jesus explaining freedom through Him. Today we read the next passage which involves the Jews He was speaking to questioning Him. I feel like this line of questioning is a mixture of curiosity and disbelief. I think the first question that arises about Jesus’ answer is how exactly are you a slave of sin when you commit sin? We can see in Jesus’ statement that the Jews understood what He meant since they didn’t question it but for us, the “outside reader” what exactly does it mean? The Apostle Paul tells us plainly in his letter to the Romans, “The wages of sin is death.” If we reflect on this for a moment, we look back to the Old Testament and can see all the blood sacrifices needed for sins. The simple equation is this: when a sin is committed, death is the result. This was the whole purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, so that we don’t have to die as a result of our sins.
I read verse 35 as a forecast to His crucifixion. You see, He was explaining that as sinners, we become enslaved by the sin until the debt is paid. He is telling us here that the Son (Jesus) will take our place (future tense since He hadn’t been crucified yet at this point). So therefore, we no longer have to wait “in the house” or “prison” because Jesus is taking our place and thus awarding us freedom from them. In The Cell is Open, we talked about accepting this payment. Why are we so hesitant to accept it? We have engrained in our heads “nothing in this life is free.”
In recognizing who God really is, we must get around the fact that He is not human. We use manmade ideas and rules to define and understand God’s omnipotent ways, thus creating this idea in our heads of who God is based on human standards. Remember, He made us, not the other way around.
Most of us cannot admit we are a slave to our sin. The majority would like to ignore it, justify it, or flat out deny it exists. We become so benevolent about the whole thing that we reject the payment and just sit in jail ticked off at the world and even God, if we dare recognize His existence. We all strive for that better purpose or that higher calling. Whether you admit it or not, you have at least once pondered the question “is this it?” Well yeah, if all you’re gonna do is sit there and serve your sentence and deny the payment that has been made for you, then that is it.
I can never understand anyone who is content with rotting away in a jail cell, but here we are.