Therefore He says:
"When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to me."
Three days. Three days I sat in that dark, damp prison cell. Never have I wanted so badly to die. I saw no hope of ever being set free. I have lived a life of disgrace. My parents disowned me because of my unruly behavior. Self became my god. I did everything I could to please him. I stole, cheated, lied and did all kinds of unimaginable evil all in the name of self. Little did I know that self was the master over me instead of me over it. I was caught in the act of committing a crime and condemned to death. All this time I thought i was in control, when in fact I was being controlled.
We've come to the outermost prison door. I hesitate. My two escorts tell me it's okay. I step out of the darkness and into the light.
Freedom. Sweet, sweet freedom. Never have you tasted or felt so good.
Off into the distance I see three wooden structures. Three 't' shaped structures. Crosses?
I ask the man on my left "What does it mean?"
He points to the one in the middle. It seemed to stand the tallest.
"On that very cross a man by the name of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. His death, by our standards was undeserving. He did nothing wrong, yet was falsely accused. He was beaten and scourged, tried in a court of law, He was found guilty and sentenced to death."
My body starts to tremble. My voice becomes heavy with guilt. "It should have been me. He took my place."
"Yes He did." Said the man on my right.
"All my life I lived by my own rules. No one could tell me anything. Not my parents. Not my friends. Not my bosses. No one. I listened to no one but me."
The two men exchanged glances. There was no need to verbalize the obvious.
"For three days while I was in prison all i could think about was getting out. I pleaded with anyone who would hear me. My own actions being thrown back into my face. They ignored me."
A different kind of silence hung in the air. Gazing upon the center cross, understanding begin to dawn upon me.
"He heard me. When I cried out for someone, anyone to come and save me, He heard me! He heard me say i was sorry for all the wrong things i had done. He heard me asking for forgiveness. He heard me asking for another chance."
"So many people today are in some form of a prison. They plead their case to other prisoners. They talk to the guards and feign innocence. They yell threats and are only hurting themsleves. You were once like them. But, you acknowledged your transgressions and did not try to hide from them."
"It all seems so foolish right now. While i was pleading for someone to help me, He was pleading my cause to a Higher Authority. He was heard and therefore obtained my freedom. His voice was the one i heard calling me His child when the prison doors opened?"
"Tell me sir, what must I do to be saved?"
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."
"Go and tell others about the love and mercy of God in heaven. Help them to realize that they are lost and are in need of someone to save them. Tell them about Jesus."