29th April 2014

Walk Free in Jesus! 

“Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
Revelation 22:17 (NIV) 

In the film “The Mission”, Robert De Niro plays the ruthless captain of a band of Spanish slave traders whose name is Mendoza. He has grown rich and prosperous on human plunder and his lifestyle is very opulent, until one day he and his brother fight.  Mendoza kills his brother and is afterwards crushed with guilt, plunged into a deep moral and spiritual crisis. A missionary leader called Gabriel, played by Jeremy Irons, seeks out Mendoza and convinces him that he must go to the people he captured and sold into slavery, and now serve them. Mendoza cannot believe that his guilt can ever be removed, but joins the missionaries anyway.  They climb up steep cliffs, through gorges, ravines and dense forests to where the tribe lives. In an attempt to atone for his sins, Mendoza drags behind him a net containing all the trappings of his former life—his armour and weapons. They finally arrive at the village and Mendoza is totally exhausted. The villagers come out to greet the missionaries but are shocked when they see Mendoza, the man who has taken away their sons, daughters, wives and husbands. No one moves! Then one man from the tribe approaches carrying a knife.  Mendoza kneels motionless, weighed down by his net of guilt possessions. He doesn’t care anymore, there’s no release. He turns his throat towards the blade ready to receive his just punishment. The man stands over him, raises the blade and with it delivers his judgment:  but instead of killing Mendoza, he severs the rope attached to this great net of evil and it topples over the precipice and is gone! 

Gone! Mendoza’s face changes, the darkness has turned to light, the heaviness of grief to joy and this once broken man stands healed and forgiven! That’s what our Father does through his Son Jesus—he takes away our burdens, he turns our mourning into joy, he allows us to stand before his throne holy and blameless—that’s the story of forgiveness! 

Psalm 38:4 (GNB) says, “I am drowning in the flood of my sins; they are a burden too heavy to bear.”  Jesus in Matthew 11:28 (GNB) urges, “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” 

“‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV).  “He has sent Me [Jesus]…to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1 NKJV). 

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are the great burden bearer; the one who is always there for us, who grants us forgiveness, so that we may walk free.

Study by Cliff Neill


cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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