The Word: Celebrating Freedom Friday a bit later this month

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 17, 2024

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Let the past be past at last and celebrate Freedom Friday on March 29.

“We know that our old self was crucified with (Jesus) in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans 6:6-7

My wife’s parents had a beautiful home in Southwestern Virginia. We loved visiting their mountain retreat to spend time with family. Our visits were also an opportunity for us to help them with projects around the home like pressure washing the siding or getting the computer running again. They always appreciated our help with something.

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But not today. This past year, both of them went home to live with Jesus where there is “no mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” As the executrix of their estate my wife is gradually working through their medical bills and filing their last tax return. Their situation reminds me of the apostle Paul’s point in his letter to the Romans. “For the one who has died has been set free.” When they died they were set free from any commitments they had in this world like medical bills and tax returns. That responsibility now belongs to the estate. They are free.

Think of it as Freedom Friday

Soon we will celebrate Good Friday. On that day we celebrate the fact that Jesus took all our sins to the cross and died for them. When Jesus says, “It is finished,” the price for your sins was paid in full. But that’s not the end of the story. In Romans 6:4 Paul says our baptism unites us with Jesus. His death becomes our death and his resurrection is our resurrection. That’s why Good Friday is such a spectacular day.

I like to think of it as Freedom Friday. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how many times you have done it. Death sets you free from all of the commitments and responsibilities that you have accumulated. They now belong to the executor of your estate – Jesus.

That doesn’t mean that the devil won’t keep bringing up the sins of your past. But whenever he does you can tell him that they don’t belong to you any longer. That you died in those baptismal waters and have been set free from all your sins. Tell the devil that Jesus is the executor of your estate and celebrate your freedom from the devil’s accusations and your guilty conscience. Not even the IRS will try to collect from my in-laws who are in heaven. If we believe that we died with Jesus then nothing from our past should trouble us. We have been set free!

Celebrating your freedom from guilt and shame prepares you to join Jesus in leaping from the tomb to new life on Easter morning!

Rev. Matthew Sorenson is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at