Two years ago this week, Gaby and I celebrated my 60th birthday together in Berlin. While there I took this picture of a still-standing section of the infamous Berlin Wall with my cell phone and it just happened to show up as a memory on my Facebook homepage – coincidence? I don’t think so.
With the “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” sermon series currently the subject of Sunday sermons at c|Life and fresh in my mind; I couldn’t help but think of the thousands who dug under the wall or climbed over it looking for something better on the other side. According to one research center, “at least 138 people were shot dead, suffered fatal accidents or committed suicide after failed escape attempts”. Everything and everyone east of Checkpoint Charlie were under the control of an iron-fisted communist regime as determined to keep the people in as the people were to bust out – it was a tragic and traumatic period of time for the German people.
Thinking about it I realized how desperate people are to be free. A trail of blood spanning the streets of time give testimony to the unlimited extremes men will go to in an effort to escape tyranny and find the life they want and long for. What we may want to know, however, is this: Sin is an oppressive Berlin Wall as determined to keep you locked away from that life as you are to break free and find it.
As it turned out, we just happened to be there at the beginning of the 25th-anniversary celebration of the wall coming down and joined in with the German people standing beneath the Brandenburg Gate where President Ronald Reagan made the famous “Mr. Gorbachev – tear down this wall” speech in 1987. Two years after that, “On the night of November 9, 1989, East German authorities suddenly opened the border crossing and thousands of jubilant Germans celebrated by dancing on top of the wall and chipping away at it with hammers and chisels”.
That’s what freedom feels like and how so very many who have found what they look for in Jesus feel when they do find him. He brings an end to sin’s oppressive reign and tears down the walls that have separated us from God bringing true and lasting freedom; For “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 ESV.