Freedom forever!

Have you seen the recently-released film ‘Les Miserables’, nominated for eight Academy Awards and winner of three?

Or the stage version of the renowned Victor Hugo story, which opened in London in October 1985?

Poignant, captivating, heart-breaking – so many adjectives to describe this tale, set in France during the country’s political upheavals of the 19th century.

And the music? Stirring and memorable.

It is not difficult to recognise the spiritual overtones in the script, is it, many of which can be matched to clear biblical truths of redemption and forgiveness.

Take, for example, the character of convict Jean Valjean, who is discharged on parole by prison guard Javert after serving a nineteen-year sentence.

Valjean is driven out of every town, because of his paroled status.

He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne, but steals his silver during the night.

Valjean is captured by the authorities, but the Bishop informs them that the silver was actually given to the convict, and then he gives him even more, securing Valjean’s release.

Moved by the Bishop’s grace, Valjean breaks his parole, vowing to start an honest life helping others under a new identity. At the same time, though, Javert swears that he will bring the escaped prisoner to justice.

As we approach Easter, the greatest of all Christian festivals, we reflect on the mercy and kindness of Jesus, who gave his life for our liberty.

John 8, 36: ‘If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’ We had done so much to incur the wrath of a holy God, but through Jesus taking our punishment, we are able to start all over again, with the certainty of his presence in our hearts.

We need to be aware, of course, that Satan, our arch-enemy, is never far away, seeking to bring us under his influence once again.

But as the song says: ‘He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world ... Christ, the living one, has overcome, and we share in his victory.’