“The Tombs” Prison

In 1838, a brand new prison was built.  It was called “The Tombs.”  Ironically, the contractor who built the prison was later found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in prison.  Which prison?  The very prison he had built.  As the contractor was escorted into a cell of his own making, he said, “I never dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day” (Today in the Word, July 12, 1993).

We have heard of the expression, “digging your own grave,” but “building your own prison” is a new one.  No matter the expression, this is exactly what this contractor did.  Surely there are few things worse than building our own prisons and digging our own graves.  Strangely though, this is what we sometimes do as Christians.

Throughout Romans 6, we see this contrast between living free for God and living as slaves to sin.  The idea here is that we are walking free from our lives of sin, but sometimes we make poor decisions and end up imprisoning ourselves to sin once again.  The problem is that we get involved with friends and put ourselves in situations where we can fall to temptation.  In essence, we are digging our own graves and building our own prisons.

Let’s always strive to keep ourselves freed from sin and out of our own self-built spiritual prisons.  Let’s be reminded of Romans 6:12-13 as we close, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”


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