"To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever. AMEN."
I was all set to read the first 4 chapters of Revelation today for my Scripture Journaling (morning devotions), and I got stopped a mere 6 verses into the first chapter. It's one of those "Christianese phrases," the likes of which we've heard countless times before... but today I actually paused to consider its implications.
"To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood..." (v.5b)
It wasn't the "God loves us" part that got me. It was the next part: "(who) freed us from our sins by his blood." We usually think of having been simply (or maybe not so simply) forgiven of our sins. But the author of Revelation talks about being FREED from our sins. Wow!
The sins of our past... left unforgiven... have deep ties into our souls. They gnaw at us. Remind us of our failure. Pummel our feelings of self-worth. Even if we've made peace with those we have offended, a dark trail remains. But as Christians, we believe all of that can be forgiven. All of it! By Jesus' death & resurrection ("blood"), not only are we forgiven, but we're set FREE from the hold sin has on us. (And who can't use a little more freedom like that?!)