In New York Harbor stands a lady,
With a torch raised to the sky;
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me.
I’m so proud to be called an American,
To be named with the brave and the free;
I will honor our flag and our trust in God,
And the Statue of Liberty.
On lonely Golgotha stood a cross,
With my Lord raised to the sky;
And all who kneel there live forever
As all the saved can testify.
I’m so glad to be called a Christian,
To be named with the ransomed and whole;
As the statue liberates the citizen,
So the cross liberates the soul.
Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty,
It was there that my soul was set free;
Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my Statue of Liberty!
Last time, we focused on the American flag in relation to celebrating the Fourth of July. Today, let’s focus on the Statue of Liberty. As we’ve heard in our featured song (also entitled Statue of Liberty) recorded by the Mark Trammell Quartet, not only does America have a statue representing it’s freedom, but Believers have a “statue of liberty” also ~ the cross. Both symbolize freedom to their citizens – that is, the citizens of heaven and the citizens of the United States.
Though America is only one nation, and some may wonder, “Is this only for Americans, or can persons in other countries glean something practical from this song and devotional?” It is my desire that everyone, no matter where they live, can take something meaningful away from this post. As this song illustrates, freedom can come in more ways than one, and the Statue of Liberty serves as a great example for what we want to accomplish today. Let’s use some of the Statue of Liberty’s history to compare and contrast with the cross, and what it represents for Believers.
There is a famous quote on the statue of liberty that’s taken from a poem written by Emma Lazarus, the composition was written to raise money for the statue’s base, but now, goes down in history as the most recognized phrase associated with Lady Liberty. It simply reads…
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
If you think about it, in a round about way, this is what Christ was saying when He died on Calvary for our sins. He never spoke those words while He hung on the cross, but we are all familiar with the saying, “actions speak louder than words,” and if that is the case, I can see this inscription on the cross as sinners kneel at it’s base to receive Christ as their personal Savior. Are you tired of sin? Is your righteousness as filthy rags? Do you yearn for freedom? – Christ says, in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Secondly, before the days of airplanes and air travel, when immigrants would come to the United States, they would come into New York Harbor by ship…the first thing they would have seen would have been the Statue of Liberty. Many left their homelands to begin a new life in America, and the Lady was their welcome into this new country – and a new citizenship. On the other hand, isn’t it the same way when we come to know Christ? The cross, our statue of liberty, is the first thing we see when we become a Christian. Becoming a Believer changes our citizenship from an earthly one to a heavenly one. No longer a resident from where we came from (this world) we begin living for the “new country” (heaven). “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” – Ephesians 2:19 Surely, the immigrants who came to America felt like they had a new beginning, a new life; and once saved, Believers feel the same way ~ a new life…a new beginning in Christ.