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Released From Prison

Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out  …from a different perspective

                                                          by Elinor Montgomery

August 18, 2013

Picture this! A man had lunch in a bar at noon hour with his friend, and had shared a liter of wine, something he rarely, if ever, did at lunchtime. It had been easy to do so, for he and his friend were in deep conversation and they had barely noticed the time or the amount of wine they had consumed. Before they realized it, the liter was empty.

They left the bar and the man got into his own car to drive back to work. He realized that his reactions were slower than usual, from drinking so much wine when he was not used to it. Suddenly, he found himself swerving to miss a car, which had escaped his blurred vision, sending him into a spin as he crossed over the median and broke through a fence, to finally come to a stop in a sandbox where two little girls were playing. One child was instantly killed in the accident and the other one lost her foot.

The impaired driver went into a state of shock, which gave way to overwhelming remorse and the desire to turn back the hands of time as if he had never gone into that bar, as if he had never drunk too much alcohol, had never gotten into the car, had never had blurred vision, had seen the approaching car and had never swerved to go through the fence and finally land in the sandbox. If only it had never happened! He had walked into a prison of his own making and not one, which any other man had made for him.

After some time elapsed, he sought out the parents of the little girls and, doing the best he could to express the depths of his remorse, he begged the forgiveness of both families, but no matter how forgiving they were or how much pain he felt, the hands of time could not change the course of events and their consequences. The one little girl could never be returned to her family who would not see her again in this life. The knowledge of this kept him in a prison of remorse.

Yes, he did go to jail, and he did pay the price for his sin, which could not be erased, but the remorse did not lessen until, one day, a man entered the prison carrying a Bible with a message he claimed he had for the prisoners. He felt ambivalent toward the man and his message, for a deep depression kept him aware that nothing could change what he had done, nor could the little girl come back to life.

The man with the Bible assessed the prisoner and refused to give up on him after hearing the prisoner’s story as to why he was there. He knew how important his message was for this man. In fact, it was a message, which could change the hands of time and could restore this prisoner, as though his car had never gone through the fence that fateful day and had never killed a little girl nor maimed another.

The man with the Bible told the prisoner that it was because of his sin that Jesus had come into the world. He knew all about the pain he was feeling, and had agreed with His Father that He would stand before the Father in judgment, representing the prisoner by taking his sin upon Himself and pay the price of death so that the man, who was condemned, might live as though the tragedy had never happened.

The gavel and judgment came down, declaring the man to be free to go. The Judge declared that his sin would be remembered no more because God’s Son, Jesus, had taken the judgment for him. His Son would bear the nail holes in His hands and the spear hole in His side as a remembrance of what He had done for this prisoner and for many more like him whose sins would be gone forever, as though they had never existed.

Suddenly, the prisoner saw a ray of light and a glimmer of hope, which began to grow in the darkness of his despair; it grew until it filled his whole being. The entire room was filled with a brightness that blinded him, and he reached out to the scarred, outstretched hand of Jesus, which he saw as clearly as if He were in the dark cell with him. Then, it was as though the prison bars burst wide open and he was free again with a vision of the little girl, very much alive and playing in the sandbox once more.

At the moment he was touched by the hand of this awesome Man called Jesus, he had become a new man, as though born again of the Spirit. He knew, without a doubt, there was life after death; for he had been dead and now he was alive again. His condition had been hopeless but now there was hope. His joy was so great that he shouted out the good news to all of the other prisoners, some of whom got caught up in the same Spirit that had come to him. If it could happen to him, why could it not happen to them as well? Why could they not also see the light like this man who had been without hope, as were they? A Spirit of life rippled through the jail and many were released from the prison to go out and share the good news with others.

The life of the prisoner was changed forever as he went forth from prison with his Bible to tell anyone who would listen that whatever sin might be holding one captive, it could be taken away as if it had never been. He returned to his own family, treating each child as a blessing from God, which he cherished as if every day were their last one here on earth with him.

No matter how long they had together, he would make sure that his children would know, like he knew, that this one great Man called Jesus had saved his life and would also save them from all the sins of this world. He made sure they knew that there was one little girl in heaven, who would be waiting to meet them when they arrived there at the end of their lives here on earth, if they would accept this incredible gift, which Jesus wanted to offer them.

The man’s children were taken regularly to visit with the families of the two little girls who had been in the sandbox that fateful day. He shared his message with them and all came to know the incredible meaning of real forgiveness, which treats sin as though it never happened. Not only had the prisoner’s remorse given way to joy, but, so too, had the pain of the families given way to the joy and knowledge of the reunion they would have in heaven, and the healing of lameness, which the Lord brings.

The conclusion to this story was that the son of the prisoner went on to marry the young lady who had lost her foot as a little girl, and a wedding took place, which united the two families in love and true forgiveness. Surely, the waters intended for cleansing had become the best wine on that day.

It was all because of the hand of Jesus, which had been extended, grasped and held, allowing Him to work the wonderful miracle of life, which only He can work, by changing the spiritual waters of sin and despair in our lives to the spiritual wine of joy.