From Death Row To Freedom

(Recommended reading John chapter 12 through chapter 21 – whatever translation you prefer)

As I was considering what to write for today, I looked back to see what I had published for Easter last year.  After reading over it, I do not think I could do any better. So this is a repeat and I hope you will enjoy it.

This is Easter Sunday and for Christians, it is the most wonderful of days!  It is the day we celebrate that our Savior – Jesus Christ – rose from the grave.  It is the day He defeated death and a destiny in hell for all of us.

One day recently while driving in my car, I heard a song I was not familiar with.  The title is “Red Letters” sung by Crowder.  When I got home I looked up the words to the song, and I want to share some of them with you:

“There I was on death row – Guilty in the first degree – Hell was my destiny …For God so loved the whole wide world – Sent His only Son to die for me – Arms spread wide for the whole wide world – His arms spread wide where mine should be – Jesus changed my destiny…When the ground began to shake – The prison walls started falling – And I became a free man that day – The prison walls started falling – And I am a free man today.”

I thought about those words and how true they ring.  We are all basically on death row, from the day we are born.  We have a certain number of days to live on this earth and unless we look past ourselves to discover and accept God, hell is our destiny.

But!  Because God loved us so much, He wanted to save us from ourselves and our sinful lives.  He wanted to give us all the opportunity to join Him in heaven rather than be separated from Him for eternity.  That love resulted in His son Jesus, coming down from the perfection of heaven to this sinful earth. He lived a life as an example for us, never sinning and always loving.  Then, He suffered the ultimate humiliation in His death by hanging on a cross, arms outstretched and in horrendous pain. Not only did He have to suffer the physical pain of the nails but He suffered the spiritual pain – having the sins of all the world from the beginning of time through all eternity placed on Him as our sacrificial lamb.  That unselfish act affords us the opportunity to know the reward of an eternal life in heaven with the God that loves us so very much. Jesus did indeed change our destiny that day so that we could be free.

The story of Jesus’ crucifixion, death and burial are heartbreaking to read about.  When you wrap your mind around the fact that this sinless man died such a horrible death at the hands of men He loved so much, so that we can all be free to determine our own fate, is almost incomprehensible.  But the story does not end with His death and burial. The good news is that He was resurrected from that grave and returned to His Father in heaven. When our time on earth is done, our spirit will either find its way to eternity in hell or to follow Jesus to eternity in heaven.

I would encourage you to stop right now, get your Bible and sit down for a few minutes – then read John chapter 12 through chapter 21.  Read it slowly and let your heart and mind grasp the fullness of this story. There is no question that it is hard to grasp and it is easy to understand why it can be difficult for people to embrace it.  But the importance of seeing those we know and love find this truth, in order to get them off death row and saved from eternity in hell, is so vital, we cannot give up on them. We should pray for them, that their eyes, ears, minds and hearts will be opened to this truth – that their prison walls fall away so that they too can be free.   I would pray that if you have not already done so, you will choose to be free from death row and hell so that you can look toward heaven as your eternal reward.

HE IS RISEN!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!  Happy Easter Everyone!

Written by Karran Martin – April 7, 2019

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