In this morning’s worship service, I was asked to lead the people in prayer. But before I did, I said…
“We celebrate this morning because of Romans 8:1, which says, ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ Every one of us has been on death row. But a guard has come to your cell, opened up the door, and said, ‘Someone has died in your place. You’re free to go.’ Why would we choose to stay in that cell any longer?!? Instead, we have the privilege of going to other cells, telling other death row inmates that someone has died for them, too, and set them free!”
Sbortly after the service was over, a lady came up to me with a look in her eyes that made me wonder if she was going to hit me or hug me. She went right in to say that she had never heard that illustration/explanation before; never before had it been put in such a personal way. She said, “I’ve always heard and known that Jesus died for US, but I’ve never heard it explained in a way that makes it so personal.” The guard came to MY cell. The guard came to YOUR cell. I’M the one who was on death row. I’M the one who was awaiting execution for my sins. But it was HE who died in MY place. In YOUR place.
And because of that, YOU are free to go.