Puzzle Piece 4: Freedom

Romans 6 (NIV)

6For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—  7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.

Moses led the Israelites to FREEDOM from slavery to Egypt

The Israelites became slaves to Egypt because of the actions of Jacob’s sons. Jacob’s 11th son, Joseph, was sold for 20 pieces of silver by his jealous brothers when he was 17 years old. He was falsely accused and imprisoned, but because God gave him the ability to interpret dreams, he was promoted to second in command in Egypt when he was 30 years old. During a famine, his brothers came to Egypt to buy food and although Joseph could have retaliated, he didn’t. Instead, he moved his entire family of 70 (including him and his sons) to Egypt where they multiplied into more than 600,000 and prospered. After Joseph died, a new Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph became concerned that the Israelites were multiplying so fast, so he enslaved them. They continued to multiply and eventually he ordered the midwives to kill the male babies, but they didn’t because they feared God.

Moses, the great-grandson of Jacob’s son, Levi, was born shortly after the murderous decree, so his mother hid him for 3 months and then sent him down the Nile River in a basket. He was rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as Egyptian royalty in the palace. However, when he was 40 years old, Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite, and fearing his crime would be revealed, he left his royal home and escaped to the desert.

When Moses was 80 years old, God appeared to him in a burning bush and told him to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh (not his adoptive grandfather) to free the Israelites. Pharaoh didn’t want to free the slaves, so God sent 10 plagues on Egypt. Prior to the 10th plague, God told the Israelites to get an unblemished first year male lamb and sacrifice it. They used the blood of the lamb to mark their homes as a sign for the Lord to PASS OVER them and not destroy them. All of those who did not have the blood of the Lamb on their homes were destroyed. That same night the Israelites ate the roasted lamb and left Egypt healthy and wealthy. Three days later they miraculously crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. As they came out of the sea, they looked back and saw their enemies drown in a watery grave, so they knew they were truly free to begin their journey to their earthly Promised Land without fear that their past would catch up with them!

JESUS leads Christians to FREEDOM from slavery to sin

Mankind became slaves to sin because of the actions of Adam and Eve, but Jesus came down from his royal throne in Heaven to free us from sin. When Jesus was born, He was hailed as “King of the Jews”, so the Roman King Herod was jealous and ordered his soldiers to kill all male babies under the age of two. Jesus’ earthly father Joseph (not Jacob’s son) was told in a dream to go to Egypt, so they stayed there for several years until King Herod was dead. After moving back to Israel, Jesus spent most of his life as a carpenter in a small town called Nazareth. At the age of 30 he began a 3-1/2 year ministry of healing people who were suffering from the consequences of sin.

At the age of 33, Jesus was sold out by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver. After being falsely accused Jesus was brutally beaten which satisfied the full punishment of our sins on His body so that by His stripes our bodies can be healed. After being beaten, Jesus was nailed to the cross and shed His perfect blood, so that when God looks at us He sees the blood of the Lamb and passes over us for judgment and we are saved.  Jesus is the unblemished Lamb of God and His body is represented by the bread and His blood is represented by wine/grape juice (blood of grapes, fruit of the vine). When we take Communion as Jesus instructed during the Last Supper, we remember what He did for us and by faith we eat His bodily health and drink His eternal life. Jesus also wanted us to see that our enemy was put to death, so after 3 days He rose from the dead and left the enemy (death) in the grave. We now know that we are truly free to begin our journey to our heavenly Promised Land without fear that our past will catch up with us!

By faith, declare that JESUS gave His life (blood) so you can live eternally and rose from the dead so you can enjoy FREEDOM from slavery to sin!

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