Happy July 4th to all!  Gotta love those hot dogs and fireworks.


On this Independence Day 2008 I’m thinking about the two Independence Days that are recorded in the Bible—and I’m not referring to the Exodus or the end of the Babylonian exile… ‘cause I know that’s what you were thinking!


No, I’m talking about the Old Testament 4th of July and the New Testament 4th of July.  The first one was a sad day.  The second one was a saving day.


The first I-Day goes all the way back to Genesis chapter 3, when our first parent made that dubious decision to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden—the only one God said not to eat from.


The decision they made that day was not so much about eating a piece of fruit as it was choosing a life of INDEPENDENCE.  Now that may sound great at first, until you realize that they were declaring independence from God.  And as a result, sin entered the whole human race and life without God along with it.


And that’s a choice God allowed them to make.  It’s still a choice God allows us to make.


But there’s another choice offered to us as well.  And that choice was made possible by the 2nd I-Day recorded in the Bible.  And that one was the day Jesus died on the cross to take away the sin of the world.


By taking on the punishment of the whole world’s sin, Jesus set us free from the penalty and the power of sin in our lives—the very curse that fell upon us on that first, unfortunate Independence Day in the garden.


And if a forbidden tree was the culprit of our spiritual demise—then it would be a forgiving tree that would bring us the remedy that we so desperately needed.


That tree of course didn’t bear any real fruit—but it did bear the body of God’s one and only Son.  And the fruit of his love was our salvation.


And so now we are afforded the incredible opportunity to once again choose DEPENDENCE upon God as we accept his gift of forgiveness and walk in the blessing and power of new life.


And that’s when the real fireworks begin!




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