Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Walking Toward Freedom

empty tomb with crown of thorns and robe on the ground
Author Biography

    Sandra Holcombe has served as a writer, copyeditor, and proofreader for CBN’s Direct Marketing team for five years. She’s also a professional voiceover artist and currently plays young Gizmo in CBN Animation’s GizmoGO! children’s series.

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Sandra Holcombe - Writer/Proofreader

At the end of Passover, we remember, once more, the time God liberated His people from slavery, when the angel of death passed over them. As the Jews followed Moses out of Egypt, through the parted Red Sea, and into the Promised Land, we can follow Jesus out of our old lives into the new life He died to give us. But the choice will always be ours.

Along the way, though, certain church leaders throughout history, from different denominations, made getting to know God almost impossible. Religious practices and teachings spiritually enslaved the people, and corruptness turned some against God. Those church leaders were not good reflections of Christ on earth…

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 NLT)

That’s how seriously Jesus takes this. And that doesn’t just apply to church leaders. Individually, we should be aware of how we’re representing Him too.

After Passover, as we look back at remembering what Moses did—and as we remember what Jesus did for all of humanity—let’s ask God to soften our hearts. Let’s not be stubborn like Pharaoh or self-righteous like the Pharisees. Let’s be pliable for the Holy Spirit to mold us into being more like Him.

In Scripture, Jesus—Love Incarnate—was tender toward the poor… He was compassionate to the sick and hurting… And He was patient with those who did not understand Him…

But as for certain Pharisees, Jesus said, “You are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on” (Luke 11:44). That might shock some folks, but Jesus vehemently disapproved of their ongoing hypocrisy.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, is also the Lion of Judah, as described in the book of Revelation. And He is the One who drove the money changers out of the Temple with a whip and turned over their tables (John 2:13-15)! That is another side of Jesus that is not often discussed.

While living in Los Angeles, I visited a church whose visiting priest told the congregation God is love and that there were many ways to get to the Father. “God is Love,” he kept saying. Nobody flinched. I looked around. No one seemed uncomfortable by this. Not one person seemed to realize he was speaking heresy.

Afterward, I waited until the last person shook hands with him. Then, I kindly said hello and asked him to tell me if I had heard him correctly about “many ways to get to the Father.” “Yes,” he assured me, “because God is love!” I then reminded him of Scripture—what Jesus Himself said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)—but he refused to listen and kept repeating, “God is love!” over and over again.

Merriam-Webster defines corruption as: “a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct,” “dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people,” and “decay, decomposition.”

And when someone goes away from the Word of God, they’re leaving what’s original, pure, correct—and heading toward destruction.

Have you ever seen the portrayal of Jesus by Bruce Marchiano in The Gospel According to Matthew? Along with Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ and Jonathan Roumie in The Chosen series, my other favorite portrayal of Jesus is by Marchiano.

In the scene with the Pharisees, instead of showing Jesus completely incensed by them, Marchiano shows Jesus’ heartbreak. When He calls them a “brood of vipers,” it was like He was saying, “What have you done? I gave you life. I blessed you to serve Me as My representatives for My people. I have loved you with an everlasting love… Why are you choosing decay and death over abundant living?”

If only they had really understood Who they were talking to… Instead, they let religion cloud their relationship with Almighty God.

How about you? Do you truly know Jesus? Do you understand what His Word says—and do you choose His way of living over your own? It’s a huge responsibility, and it’s an honor. So, what would Jesus say to you at this very moment? In prayer, listen to His still small voice, the voice of His Holy Spirit, and allow Him to minister to you—as you renew your vow to daily walk in His ways toward true freedom. And if you’ve never declared Him as Lord and Savior, then maybe now is a good time for your liberation to begin also!


Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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