A number 5 with a side of melon
“We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.” –Numbers 11:5 NLT
Who doesn’t love fish? Add some cucumbers, leeks and onions with a melon side salad. That is a beautiful thing. On top of that, its free. Who doesn’t love free?
Wait a second, free?
I’ll back up a little for you. This is the collective voice of Israel speaking after leaving Egypt. They are in the wilderness without meat. For some time they’ve had stuff called manna – a seed like material that showed up every morning. It was used for baking and cooking.
But there’s no meat.
So the people complain and grumble. They want meat. Understandable, right? Just think about the good ole days in Egypt. Slavery. Yeah, that’s right. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Did they pay for the fish, cucumbers, melons? No. Was it free? No.
Nothing in life is free…
I’ve lived life as a slave. I’ve lived as a slave to something outside of myself. We’ve all been or currently are slaves. Nothing in your life was free. Somehow it was paid for. Did you pay for it? Probably not. Here’s a short list of what did pick-up the bill:
- Addictions – alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling
- Bad relationships – romantic, family, friendships, work relationships
- Debt – cars, clothes, jewelry, computers, gadgets
- Thoughts – lust, greed, self-loathing, insecurities
- Emotions – fear, anger, hate, worry
- Religion – rules, regulations, rituals, traditions
It’s possible you are a slave to one or more of these things right now. You may have even broken free for a period of time but thought like the Israelites, “It was so good, and it was free!”
Slavery is never free. It always cost you something.
Nothing is free, except…
Today being Good Friday, I reflect on the significance of Passion Week. I think about the suffering, pain, hardship that Jesus endured. It was for me.
He hurt, so I could be truly free from slavery. Jesus bled, so you could escape the prison of addiction, relationships, debt, thoughts, emotions, religion and hundreds of other things.
As you walk through this Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, remember you are free. If you’re not, recognize you can be free.
“The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him— our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And GOD has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him.” –Isaiah 53:2-6 MSG
Jesus endured this, so we could be set free.
Who doesn’t love free?