Have you ever seen the Liberty Bell, which is currently housed at Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia, Penn.? If not, you have probably seen photos of the massive bell with the inscription “PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF” and a huge crack down the middle. It is a major tourist attraction and is especially popular during this time of year when we celebrate our country’s independence.

Tradition tells us that when it was rung from the tower of Independence Hall on July 8, 1776, its chime changed the world, summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The American colonies had declared themselves free from the bondage of England.

Since then there has been decades of widespread disagreement about when the first crack appeared on the Bell, but the final expansion of the crack-which rendered the Bell unringable-was on Washington’s birthday in 1846. After 1846 the bell became a major symbol for every one of the freedoms Americans enjoy.

As American citizens, we are the beneficiaries of the blood and treasure sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today, but as Christians, we are the beneficiaries of the greatest sacrificed blood and treasure the world has ever known: the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who left His throne in heaven to become one of us, to gain for us a different kind of freedom: an eternal freedom.

Bullets, armies, Constitutions or even bells could not create peace with God because of the sinfulness that we have. Because of our sins we are separated from God and have no hope of Heaven. So God sent His Son to do what we could not: free us of our guilt before God and create peace with us and God.

But this freedom we enjoy, through faith, was not free. It cost God dearly. It cost Him no less than having to punish Jesus, His only Son, and to have Him die by crucifixion on a wooden cross! For us, freedom from sin and eternal life costs nothing. But for God, it cost everything. This eternal freedom, then, is now brought to us through the trusting in Jesus’ work for us - known as “the Gospel.”

The Gospel is God’s Liberty Bell, ringing out the Good News of our Savior’s death on the cross, where we learn of His shed blood covering our sins and His resurrection from the grave, bringing us forgiveness, new life and life everlasting in heaven with Him! Jesus Himself declares, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Now that’s true freedom.