“Warning: Hitchhikers may be escaping inmates.” So said the orange sign we passed on an Oklahoma highway.
Hearing about someone who lived next door to the Huntsville prison, a teenager commented, “I wouldn’t want to live next to a prison.” His dad replied, “Better next to than in.”
Some years ago several of us visited the Gurney Unit near Tennessee Colony, Texas. Overlooking the locked gate, the guard kept watch. At the base of the tall enclosure were long coils of razor wire, making escape next to impossible.
Even if an inmate could somehow slip past the guards and over the top, he must always be looking over his shoulder. Out of prison, he can never truly relax as a free man. Really, he isn’t. Legally, he is still a prisoner.
While we may or may not have done anything that would land us in jail, we have all done things that condemn us to hell (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8). It’s true, so we might as well admit it.
The worst prison on earth can’t compare with the horrors of an eternal hell. Let’s do everything required of us to escape the sentence that will surely be ours if we don’t get right with God. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Though innocent, Jesus was willing to die as a convicted criminal in the most horrible fashion. Because He died in our place, God offers each of us a pardon we surely do not deserve.
It is a pardon that allows us to walk out of our cell on death row, through the gates of sin’s prison, and out into the fresh air and blue skies of freedom! God wipes our record clean.
Nothing we’ve done will ever be held against us. He offers us a fresh start, a new beginning. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Have you taken the steps to obtain the freedom He so much wants to give you? (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37-38; 22:16).
Why stay locked up when freedom is so available?
Using a similar analogy of the slavery of sin vs. the glorious freedom He offers, Jesus promised, “. . . everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin . . . . So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34, 36).
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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