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 all heard of the expression, “digging your own grave,” but building your own prison is a new one. This is literally what this contractor ended up doing. Surely there are few things worse than building our own prisons. Strangely though, this is exactly what we do at times.
Throughout Romans 6, we see this contrast between living free for God and living imprisoned as slaves to sin. When we sinned, we had built our own sin prisons, but God had graciously set us free. Tragically, there are times when we drifted back into sin. We have effectively gone to live in the very sin prison we had built.
What a terrible tragedy this is! And to make matters worse, our the cell door has been left open for us. There aren’t any guards. No one is forcing us to live in our own sin prisons. We are choosing to live there (James 1:14-15). Sin has become our master only because we have made it so.
And yet, just outside of the prison waits our Father. He softly asks us to come out and follow Him (Luke 9:23). He would love to welcome us with open arms (Luke 15:20). He offers us precious gifts like sanctification and eternal life if we would come out (Romans 6:22-23). If we would but fall into His loving arms, we would wonder why we ever left Him for that horrible, dark, cold cell.
The only question left to answer is this: Will you leave your prison?