Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Deliverer, the Prince

I sit…Crouched miserably against damp, cold stone walls. Shafts of dusty light filter in through the grated opening above my head. Dirty rats scurry around my feet fighting over the few dry crumbs left from my last meal…a small crust of bread. My hands and feet are chaffed by the heavy chains that bind them to the iron pins driven fast into the echoing walls. The deathly silence that hangs though these halls is cut only by the continual drip of a broken water pipe somewhere next door. The only thing worse then sitting in this miserable cell day after day is the thought of the warden’s next visit. His coming is petrifying. It seems that when he arrives I can only crouch all the lower and listen as he rehearses all my failings and all the acts that brought me here in the first place. And it seems his greatest delight is in reminding me of my sentence…death. I don’t argue with him. I know my sentence to be just. I sit miserable, alone and trapped. 

Until one day…

I hear footsteps in the hall and cringe inwardly. The warden again. Protestingly the door creaks open, as if to spare me the wrath to come. This time though, no voice is lifted. The footsteps cross the floor to where I sit huddled in a miserable heap and quietly stop. I dare not look up. I can’t stand to stare that cruel master in the eye. Finally though curiosity gets the better of me. I catch a glance and 
quickly hid my face again, driving it deeper into the dirty folds of my coat. Even worse…the prince of the beautiful country. Why would he come to talk to me, but to tell me my day of judgement has come. He continues to stand beside me silently and finally I dare to peek again. This time I look up into His face. Instead of cruel hard lines, there lies an expression of pitying tenderness. Intrigued, I find myself relaxing in His presence. Finally, after much silence He stoops down. Gently taking my dry calloused hand in His own He asks simply, “Will you allow me to take these off”. Silently with puzzled expression I nod. Taking the key, He fits it into the lock and I hear a “click” as the barrier that has bound me for so long is suddenly released. He then turns His attention to the ankle chains and after a second “click” they fall with a mighty clank that resounds down the long halls. I stand in awe. I must be dreaming. But tenderly His strong mighty hand grasps my tiny feeble one.

Lifting me to my feet He brushes off the dust on my rags. Then taking His fine coat He places it around my trembling shoulders. Turning to face me, His eyes lock with mine. He opens His mouth. “You are free to go.” I feel a hard cold object pressed into my hand. “The key to open any lock in this prison” He says simply. Questioningly I gaze at the key, the coat. The words finally come falteringly. 
“Why? Why have you done this? I don’t deserve it…I don’t understand.” 
“I love you, I want to give you a second chance. I want to allow you the opportunity to be a child of the King. He has already agreed to adopt you into His family.” 
“But what of my sentence? My past? My records? Surely if He knew who I really am He wouldn’t want me.” 
“They are clean. I have taken your place. I have taken your sentence. And yes, He knows exactly who you are and your past. But if you choose to put this prison behind you and keep on my coat He looks at you as a new person.” 
“NO! Let me die! You don’t deserve it, I do! It’s all my fault” I cry.
Quietly He answers, “No, it’s already been settled. Leave here today and be free, only go and sin no more.” 
“Is there anything I can do to repay you?” I reply with tears streaming down my face.
“See the key that lies in your hand?”

I nod. 
“There are thousands in this same prison who are chained as you are. Go, go and help them with their chains. Tell them what I have done. Tell them I died that they might live.”  
I fall to my knees before my deliverer. Broken that such a one would die for me and determined to tell all I could find of the one who saved me from the clutches of death.  

“For the wages of sin is death…but the gift of God is Eternal Life…through Jesus Christ, (our Prince, our deliverer), our Lord.” Rom 6:23

"Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:17, 20-21

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” Is. 43:25