BY BILL BRIMER
What’s it like to be a slave? When I hear the word, as an American, my mind instantly goes to Civil War era slavery. Our nation’s dark history has shaped our understanding of slavery. The term is loaded with evil, cruelty and injustice. Many slaves were humiliated, whipped, and murdered at the hands of cruel masters. We are still healing from the atrocities committed by our forefathers from one hundred and fifty years ago. But what if I were to say to you that everyone is a slave? Everyone in the history of the planet was a slave. Everyone now is a slave. No one has escaped the distinction. Your ancestors were slaves. Your parents were slaves. You are a slave. So what is it like to be a slave? The answer is simple. It depends on your master.
Now I could talk about bad things that have enslaved me before. Lust has mastered me. Addictions have mastered me. Hate and anger have mastered me. I could go on. These are all cruel masters and it is easy to understand why. I could also talk about the good things that have enslaved me. Money has been my master. Material possessions have been my master. Career has been my master.
This is the reality of the short and sad life of a slave to sin and death. You’ll always be searching for freedom in something that can’t deliver it. Describe your master and you’ll know what it’s like to be a slave. The life of the slave depends on the master.
Jesus tells His disciples in Mark 10:43-45, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus is describing what we must do even though we are incapable (Law). But He is also describing what only He can do because He is completely capable (Gospel). The Master of the heavens and the earth became a lowly slave to free those who were enslaved to sin and death and take them captive for eternal life. He came to do what we could not. He infiltrated the enemy and conquered it. Jesus, the Master, became slave of all and was humiliated, whipped and murdered at the hands of cruel masters. The Greatest among us became the servant. All of the evil, cruelty and injustice that the false master of sin and death could dish out was visited upon this slave. He was faithful unto death because He is the only One who could conquer it. The perfect Master became the perfect slave.
What is it like to be a slave? It depends on your master. You are either a slave to sin and death or you are a slave to Christ. To be a slave to sin and death is hell. To be a slave to Christ is freedom. He knows what it’s like to be a slave. He has done it. He knows what it’s like to suffer at the hands of cruel masters. He has done it. He knows what it is like to be humiliated, whipped and murdered. He has done it. There is no evil, cruelty or injustice that He has not endured. He is the perfect Master. He has conquered all those things, thrown off the chains, and set out to free the captives of sin and death.
There is no greater Master. The Spirit of the Master speaks to us and says, “You are mine and I have set you free. No matter how deep the darkness, I am already there and I have conquered it. Take heart. I have overcome the darkness. It is for freedom I have set you free.” We can depend on our Master. He has done it.
Bill Brimer is a singer/songwriter, producer and guitarist from Dallas, Texas. He is the co-founder, Associate Pastor and Creative Director at SoulThirst Church in The Colony, Texas. He has recorded and released three original albums, Snakes & Doves (Grace Bomb Records 2011), Love Above All (Grace Bomb Records 2012) and Bill Brimer & The Skybirds (SoulThirst Sound 2016). All his music is funded by donations from generous listeners and available for free download. His music has been described as a modern blend of vintage country, punk and gospel. He is the co-host and producer of the weekly podcast God Geeks.