The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They’d been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.
July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.
How’s that for a little history lesson?
Oh how we need something to celebrate right now! I’ve heard it said many times, “Freedom isn’t Free”. There’s been a cost – not just a financial one – but in many lives lost to maintain the Great Experiment, as George Washington once called it.
These tenants are being challenged in an intense way during this time in our history.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Braveheart. When William Wallace declared when faced with overwhelming odds against him, “Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”
I get goosebumps writing it.
It’s important for us, as believers, to remind ourselves that our freedom wasn’t free either. Jesus paid a severe price when He sacrificed His life for ours. The worst part of that event was His separation from His Father, even for just an instant. When He took on the sins of the world – past, present, and future we were granted immunity from eternal death if we only agree to follow Him.
This weekend we celebrate a monumental time in OUR history. But the most monumental time in humanity’s history is when Jesus died for us. Each and every one of us.
Thank you, Lord, for your selfless sacrifice. Once and done.
And that’s the memo.