We have heard countless sermons about the cross of Jesus.  I had a dream years ago of a vision of the cross, but it also looked like a key, and I realized the LORD was showing me something very encouraging.  And He brought it back to my attention today. I’m going to make one to wear around my neck. The cross is the KEY to your freedom.  Freedom from WHAT?  The cross is what got Jesus to the place where He purchased your freedom from sin and disease and all the devil’s junk.

God created mankind free from bondage.  There was no sickness, disease or death in the beginning, only blessed fellowship with their Creator.  God gave mankind dominion over all the earth, except for ONE tree, which was the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the Garden of Eden. Then Satan came on the scene and paid Eve a visit, and talked her into eating of the forbidden fruit which God told them NOT to. Since then, every man, woman and child has been in bondage to the devil. Paradise was lost, everlasting life was lost, and perfect fellowship with God was lost.  And while God didn’t intend for that to ever happen, He gave mankind “free will” to think and choose for himself.

How sad it is that mankind continually reverts back to making bad decisions as a way of life.  That first act of disobedience to God left that trait imbedded in mankind, no matter how “nice” or “good” that person may appear to be.  We all have a fatal character flaw called “sin”.  And there is no cure that mankind has been able to come up with to correct that flaw.  Sure, the LORD instituted a series of laws and sacrifices to “sweep our trespasses under the carpet”, but the problem is, the carpet has so much sin swept under it that instead of that carpet being under our feet, it is now way over our heads.

The LORD, however, came up with the cure for sin, and it says of John the Baptist in John 1:23-29,
23  He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24  And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25  And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26  John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27  He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28  These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Did you see that?  The Lamb of God which TAKES AWAY the sins of the world.  That means we can be made free from sin.  But how?  Only by the blood of Christ Jesus on that cross!  You see, the blood of bulls and goats and other animal sacrifices cannot take away our sins, but merely “postpone” the judgment of them for a year at a time.  But here’s the KEY!  Every lock must have a key to unlock it, and that cross that Jesus died upon inserted the key into the lock. The RESURRECTION of Jesus from the dead turned that key and opened that lock that had kept mankind chained to sin!

What does that mean to you and me?  Well, getting back to “free will”, now we have an opportunity to make a RIGHT decision!  It is written in Revelation 22:1-17;

1  And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4  And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6  And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10  And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11  He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

You can clearly see, now WE have a choice whether to be free or be in bondage.  It is no longer the devil’s choice. By Jesus going to that cross in our place, and being resurrected from the dead, He removed our chains of sin.  But will all be made free?  Well, He  paid the price, but WE STILL HAVE A CHOICE.  It is written in Matthew 11:28-30,

28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Did you see the invitation there to COME?  That isn’t a command, it’s an invitation to unload your sin that you’ve been carrying all your life.  Could you use a rest?  He is inviting you to LEARN OF HIM: forget everything you THINK you know about HIM and let Him show you from His Word who He REALLY is.  You may be surprised to find that He isn’t the harsh, hard God you may have been falsely been taught about.  He isn’t a mean old God sitting on a cloud with a fly-swatter just waiting for you to light so he can SMACK you!  He isn’t trying to find an excuse to send you to hell.  Rather, He became the key that unlocked your chains to KEEP you from the Lake of Fire.

He said you would find REST for your soul.  What is rest?  It’s the ability to lay down your heavy load and relax and feel all that burden gone.  He says His burden is LIGHT, non cumbering, and there isn’t a hidden “gotcha” in the fine print.  It’s total freedom: just the way God made it in the beginning.  For YOU!  Why? Because He loves you so!

Well, you know how I love to harp on Psalm 103:2-5, which says,
2  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5  Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Haven’t you suffered enough already? Why not take the LORD up on His gracious offer today, right now?  And if you already know Christ Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOR, the let me remind of once again of all His “BENEFITS”, because there are so many, that sometimes we tend to forget them.  And of course, the devil would like it just fine if you DID forget all those benefits.  That’s why it’s needful for you to get your face into the Word of God and keep it there every day.  Your sin is gone.  Now let’s get working on the other junk going on in your life.

You see, it takes a while to become “a new creature”, because the “old man” is a man of habit, and habits are made to be broken, of course, only it takes some effort on your part.  You know that pain in your back that you’ve been putting up with for years?  Jesus paid to fix that, why are you paying a doctor to do it when the bill is paid?   That’s part of becoming “a new creature”; realizing Jesus took ALL your sins and ALL your diseases.  He paid the bill so YOU don’t have to.

You know those nagging worries?  Ditch them.  Enjoy the REST that Jesus is offering you!  Tell the devil to take a hike.  Do you see the birds pacing back and forth on the tree limb, saying, What am I going to eat?  No, because even the birds know to rest in God, for He loves them too.  How much MORE He loves you than the birds.

The cross is the KEY to your freedom!  Hold onto that key and don’t turn it loose, else the devil will persuade you that Jesus didn’t really set you free, and you’ll be right back in bondage before you know it.  Jesus said something that really got me thinking one day, He said in Luke 5:36-39,

36  And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.
37  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
38  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
39  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Like I said, we are creatures of habit.  We can be in bondage so long that it feels “right”.  That’s why battered women stay in bad marriages, because they’ve been in a bad situation for so long that it feels “normal”.  Well, God doesn’t like for you to be in that kind of “normal”.  He wants you to live in HIS kind of “normal”, where you are blessed and happy with Him.  Your flesh may fight against that for a while because the flesh resists changing habits.  Your flesh will try to convince you that your sin and sickness are “normal” and comfortable, and is better.  But it isn’t!  I said, BUT IT ISN’T!  THE NEW IS BETTER.

Now, Jesus has given you the key to be free.  USE IT!