“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
On this day in 1865, the United States House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment to our Constitution. This historic Amendment, eventually ratified by the states and proclaimed by Secretary of State William H. Seward on December 18, 1865, abolished the institution of slavery in America. It reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exists within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
The 13th Amendment brought to an end what is arguably the most embarrassing chapter of American history—a time when America not only practiced the institution of slavery, but justified it with inexcusable and inhumane laws such as the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision. This infamous decision, which the Court has never actually overruled, denied that slaves were persons with constitutional rights, and defined them instead as the mere property of their owners.
I’m afraid that all who think of today’s America as having advanced far beyond the perpetration of such crimes against humanity are sorely mistaken, as is easily proven by the present-day atrocity of abortion. The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision denies to the unborn, what the Dred Scott decision denied to the enslaved; namely, personhood and constitutional rights. Whereas 4 million human beings were once enslaved in this land thanks to the unconscionable apathy of its citizenry, more than 51 million have been aborted with both government sanction and populace support.
This sordid history of our nation exposes the true despot under whom we, as well as the rest of the world, continues to be subjugated and enslaved. It is, as the Bible clearly teaches, sin (Romans 6:1-23). No constitutional amendment can free us from its shackles; only Christ can liberate us from such bondage!
Until we turn to Christ, we will never be free from ourselves, our feigned righteousness and the fetters of our sin. We will continue to perpetrate and pardon ourselves for our indefensible crimes against humanity. It is only by coming to Christ that we can be “free indeed”—free from our sins and free from ourselves. Until we are saved by Christ the helpless and hapless will never be safe from us.
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)