“Dead man walking! Dead man walking!”
Years ago, prison guards used to warn each other and any nearby inmates that the man they were escorting down the hallway had been condemned to die. In the eyes of the law, this man was already dead. He had run out of chances, exhausted any appeals. The court had determined he was beyond rehabilitation, beyond redemption. Completely and utterly doomed. Such a man had nothing left to lose, and must be considered extremely dangerous, especially desperate.
The Scripture tells us that we are all born “dead men walking.” The sinful nature we inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, has tainted the entire human race. And daily we prove that if we had been in the Garden, we would have made the same choice – we would have fallen, too. Our own thoughts, our own attitudes, our actions and behaviors testify against us.
This sin separates us from God, keeps us apart from Him, cuts us off from a relationship with Him. We call that separation “death” – spiritual death, and eventually physical death, and then eternal death.
Yet blindly we follow the ways of the world. And as if our own pride, our own selfishness, our own greed and lust wasn’t enough to contend with, we have an enemy constantly egging us on, tempting us and teasing us. Luring us to our death.
Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn’t it? Like a prisoner on death row.
But thanks to Jesus, we are not without hope. We are not beyond forgiveness – we are not beyond redemption. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
We have been declared “not guilty” – when we know we are! How is this possible?
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the
punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
The death sentence has been lifted, because the penalty has already been paid – by Someone else. Jesus died, so we could live free. Forever.