Today, I read of a man indicted for a crime he didn’t commit. As I walked my cat, Sam, I thought about the many innocent people jailed for unfair charges. There are horror stories where people spend their entire lives in prison for these crimes. Can you imagine being punished for a crime or crimes you did not do? It would devastate your family and others around you. For example, I know of a man sentenced to 20 years. During his incarceration, he tried on many occasions to assert his innocence. While serving his sentence, his attorneys requested several retrials. Finally, the last retrial cleared him of any wrongdoing. Through the years, there have been thousands of people incarcerated for crimes they did not commit, only to be cleared of them after serving many years behind bars.
I thought of Jesus and the callousness of the Roman government, which wanted to rid themselves of the man who preached forgiveness of sins and God’s love. They did not know God was in control and sent Jesus to die for our sins. Unlike our modern courts, there was no retrial. He did not sit in a cell with a bed, three meals, and a recreation plan, nor did he work in the chow hall as a cook. Jesus could have walked away from them anytime he chose. However, he didn't leave but gave his life for our sins by taking our punishment on the cross.
It is good to reflect on his grace, mercy, and sacrifice. When I think about his life, death, and resurrection, I know why I believe. Jesus broke my chains from my prison of shame, disgrace, hopelessness, sin, and despair. He gave me a new start and the love I craved. He promised he would never leave me or give up on me. He is the God of second and many chances.