There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Condemned No More
In Rawlins, Wyoming, something unusual is waiting for you. What awaits is a guided tour of an old prison that closed in 1981. The entire tour is riveting. Anyone who has taken the tour, however, will tell you that your heart begins to beat a little faster when you climb the steps of a specific, small building. This is the death house.
As you enter the second floor, you see a short row of small cells. Beyond the row of small cells is a door. The tour guide opens the door. You walk through. And there it stands, right in front of you. There stands the gas chamber.
Then the tour guide tells a story. She explains that, before each execution, it was standard procedure to test the gas chamber with a live pig. The technicians would bring the animal into the death house, up the stairs to the second floor and into the gas chamber. They would close the chamber door. Then they would drop cyanide pellets into an acid bath to fill the chamber with lethal gas. And the animal would die.
During the tour guide’s talk, it doesn’t take much imagination to picture the prisoner in one of the small cells behind you. There he is, listening. He hears the staff struggling to bring their test subject inside. He hears the pig’s angry grunts. Then he hears its frightened squeals. He hears the large metal door close. Finally, the prisoner hears silence.
To take such a tour and to stand in such a place can at least give you a small taste of what the word, “condemned,” really means.
You and I once sat condemned. There we were, waiting for the inevitable. There we were, waiting to die. What we awaited, however, was not some quick physical death in a gas chamber. Because of our sin, you and I were facing the pit of outer darkness, the abyss of eternal death.
But Jesus changed all that. He became one of us. On our behalf he lived the holy life we could not live. Then he put himself on death row in our place. He died as our substitute. He paid our penalty in full.
And now he lives. And because he does, you and I stand condemned no more. All is forgiven. Eternal death no longer awaits. What lies ahead now is eternal life.
Dear Savior, because of you, only the joys of heaven await. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you! Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.