Tue, 9 April 2019
(Dn.3:14-20,91-92,95; Dn.3:52-56; Jn.8:31-42)
“The truth will set you free.”
Sin binds. Like the cords with which “the strongest men in [Nebuchadnezzar’s] army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,” sin fetters our souls and casts us “into the white-hot furnace.” “Everyone who lives in sin is the slave of sin.” But for those like these three faithful servants who “will not… worship the golden statue that [the king of this world] set up,” there is freedom. For the Lord who is “praiseworthy and exalted above all forever,” who sits “on the throne of [His] kingdom… in the firmament of heaven,” “can save us from the white-hot furnace and from [the king’s] hands.” For those who “yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God,” sin holds no sway. And so we find them “unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire,” the angel of God at their side.
God sits on His “throne upon the cherubim,” but He “look[s] into the depths.” And so He sends His Son to walk among us and set us free from slavery to sin. As Jesus says, “I come forth from God, and am here.” Here is the Son; here is the true reflection of the Father. Here, indeed, is Truth itself, by whom we are all set free.
How Jesus strove to bring the truth to “those Jews who believed in Him” but struggled in their acceptance. But the Lord does not pull punches; He does not gloss over the truth, however harsh it may seem. He tells them plainly, “You are trying to kill me,” and so they do the works of Satan – and so do they sin. In their pride they deny their sin, and the envious plots in their hearts: “Our father is Abraham,” they argue, and not the evil one. “We are no illegitimate breed!” But the truth is that they are, and though it mean His death, Jesus must deliver this truth unto them… for it is all that will set them free.
How little it seems the truth is brought to the people today, and so, how few it seems are set free. As sin goes merrily along, the devil sits laughing… But God is still God, and the Son is still the Son, and all who give themselves to Him and not the idols of this earth will still find themselves set free. Brothers and sisters, “if the Son frees you, you will really be free.” Confront your own sin, and entrust all to Him.
O LORD, from your throne on high you send your Son
to rescue us from the fires of sin;
let us love His words and put faith in Him and you.
YHWH, you alone are God, exalted above all on your glorious throne. This is truth. And so, you alone should we worship with heart, mind, and soul. You alone we should praise. In you alone we should trust – you alone should be our Father.
But how easily we lie and become children of the father of lies; how readily we harden our hearts against your Word, against your truth, LORD, bowing down before the golden statue and going so far as to kill the One who bears your truth to us. Jesus would convict us of our sins. He would reveal to us the truth of our fallen nature that we might be saved, that we might be set free from the sin that binds us and casts us into the white-hot furnace. But our pride will not be broken, and so, trapped within it we remain.
O LORD, let us show the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Let us trust our very lives into your hands. Even in this furnace let us praise your Name, and your Son will come to us to set us free.