Jesus, Liberator of Women. Now that’s a headline! Some of you reading along know that statement to be true because of your personal life story. Others of you may have just had your feathers ruffled a bit. Hang in there with me….don’t confuse the failures of organized religion with the truth of who Jesus is and what He came to do for you and for me.
The Scriptures are rich with story after story of women who were trapped in their circumstances, without hope of a future, and then rescued into a new beginning. One of my favorite rescues in the Old Testament is Rahab the Prostitute. You can find her story in Joshua, chapters two and six. But for me, her crowning glory is finding her mentioned again in the New Testament in Matthew 1:5. She is listed in the family tree of Jesus. Let that sink in for a minute….a prostitute named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. And she isn’t the only woman listed with a “tarnished reputation”. God has established over and over again that He delights in rescuing and restoring His daughters.
Do you remember the woman caught in adultery in John, chapter 8? The jealous religious leaders of the day sought to use her to trap Jesus. Instead, they were humiliated and she was freed to start a new life. How her heart must have experienced confused joy as she realized she had escaped being stoned to death, her accusers were gone, and Jesus released her with the words…”Neither do I condemn you.” “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
And can you guess who was the first to be given an angelic tour of the empty tomb that no longer held Jesus? And who did the risen Jesus appear to first and give the honor of announcing His resurrection to the disciples? Well…women of course! You can find their story in Matthew 28.
And then there’s me. You see, I’m no different than Rahab the Prostitute, the woman caught in adultery, or Mary Magdalene, who Jesus delivered from seven demons. I also needed to be set free from my own path of self-destruction. Freedom isn’t a piece of paper, a law, a right. True freedom is a condition of the heart. It is a gift to be accepted, unwrapped, opened, put on like a garment and lived in, day in and day out. Freedom is turning away from attempting to be someone I’m not and embracing the truth of who God says I am in Jesus Christ. Galatians 5:1 in The Message Bible says it like this…”Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” That’s what Jesus was saying to the woman caught in adultery when He told her to go and sin no more and what He says to you and me…”Don’t let yourself become a slave to people and things and emotions that will cripple and destroy you.”
What might you need to be rescued from? What is causing interference with your life and your relationships? Grief? Jealousy? Fear? Addiction? Pride? Unforgiveness? Anger? Insecurity? Know this, my friend….Jesus is pursuing you. He has loved you and pursued you your whole life. He has your story of rescue and freedom ready to bestow upon you like a crown. You only need to make the choice to stand still….
I’m praying for your heart this week. Will you pray for mine? Join me next week as we figure out what to do with our freedom!