” [Then] the nine offered their necks to the executioner, and he who was the last of all took a view of all the other bodies, lest perchance some or other among so many that were slain should want his assistance to be quite dispatched; and when he perceived that they all were slain, he set fire to the palace, and with the great force of his hand ran his sword entirely through himself, and fell down near his own relations. So these people died with this intention, that they would not have so much as one soul among them all to be subject to the Romans” (Josephus, Wars 7.8.6; 7.9.1).
Two women and five children, hiding in a storeroom, heard and saw all of this and recorded it for us. 960 Jewish rebels chose death over slavery, and were set free. Now you and I have the same choice to make. We can be enslaved to that which keeps us from following Jesus fully, or we can die to ourselves and live with him in abundant joy, purpose, and peace.
The decision is ours.