The Prison of Her Soul
#19 November 8, 2005
"The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed." (Galatians 3: 22-23)
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
The room that she sat in was small. Room for a bed, a desk and facilities was all. Kind of cold in there too as she remembers it. She had been there for 35 years. In the prison of her soul. Heaviness and hopelessness marked the days. She tried to pass the time with pursuits she hoped would numb the pain that she felt inside. Chasing after success and riches, looking for love in all the wrong places. Nothing worked there. In the prison of her soul.
The list of the charges against her was long and seemed to grow with each passing day. No matter how hard she tried to tow the line, the accuser brought another charge. GUILTY! was the sentence that left her, in the prison of her soul.
She never had an affair but she wondered what it would be like to be with that handsome man at work - GUILTY, one charge of adultery. She remembers making one of the hardest decisions of her life and signing the consent papers for the abortion. GUILTY, one count of murder. Add to that the counts of judgement, envy, hatred, inappropriate anger, gossip and selfishness. There were more, so many....screaming in her head....guilt, shame....
Banging on the bars....a voice...."You are free to go." She thinks that this must be a dream or a cruel joke. "Free? Free? I'll never be free!" They tell her that a man has agreed to take her place so that she can go free. Could it be? Who would EVER do that? And a man?? Men had only let her down. She says, "I want to meet this man." She is told that she cannot see Him because He is already taking her place. She need only believe and be set free.
Leaving her cell, she hides in the shadows and watches. She recalls an old story she heard. Peter, wasn't it? - watching from the shadows? She can scarcely watch as He is beaten - for her. Her hands go to her ears trying to quiet the voices taunting and mocking Him - for her. As if this weren't enough, they spit on him - instead of her. She hears them laugh at him because He was the one she sinned against - yet he was doing all of this - for her! They just didn't understand.
Following in the shadows she hears, "Dead Man Walking" and watches His back going to the death chamber. She wants so badly to see His face. What is He carrying? Looks like a cross - a cross with every sin, evil thought and sickness she ever had, written across its wooden beams. And as if that weren't enough, she watches the heavy nails pierce His hands and His feet as they nail Him to that same cross. He screams from pain she will never have to know. Blood flows - "I must get closer....I must see Him!"
Just then, He turns and looks at her with the most beautiful eyes she has ever seen - eyes full of love. "Is He speaking? To me?" She hears this man of quiet strength say, "My beautiful daughter, I love you so much. You are free - believe it - you are truly free. You are not only forgiven, but your sins are totally off of your record. No one will be able to accuse you ever again. And do you know what else? Every sin you will ever commit in your life is covered by the blood I am shedding for you right now!"
For a moment His words are interrupted by someone trying to give Him something to drink. But He turns back and says, "Wait. I have more to give you." She thinks, "More! What more could He give?" Getting weaker with each passing moment, He tells her that He will send what His Father promised, His Holy Spirit, who will be with her all the days of her life - to guide her and comfort her. And life eternal with Him in Heaven. She will never be alone again. She will never be abused or rejected.
He cries out one more time to His Heavenly Father. She hears Him say, "It is finished!" He is dead. She is free. There is a soldier standing nearby. A tear is falling down his cheek. She approaches him and says, "Who was that man?" The soldier replies, "Surely this man was the Son of God. His name was Jesus." Then he hands her release papers. The ones that say:
PARDONED. NO CONDEMNATION
LOVED, VALUED, ACCEPTED
PROTECTED, PROVIDED FOR
Because of this One Man, she walks out of the darkness of prison and into the light of freedom. And she can't wait for you to hear her story. She can't wait to share what has just happened. She is searching for others who need to be set free. Can you hear her telling you? Don't try to quiet her - she will not be silent. Excuse her if she seems a little radical - Radical Love touched her life, right there, in the prison of her soul.