There was a man who was convicted and sentenced for the crime of armed robbery. This man had less than two hours to face a firing squad. As he sat in the “condemned men’s” cell of the maximum-security prison, he began to review his life. He looked back on the mayhem he had visited on individuals, families, and society at large, for so many years. His crimes included: kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, murder, and so on. Finally, it had all come down to this day, the day of execution by firing squad!
As he sat reviewing his life, two men suddenly appeared to him in his cell:
The first man told him that it was not really his fault; that he committed these crimes because of his pedigree. He told the condemned man that he was born to an armed robber; who himself was born to a murderer; who was also born to a rapist. This man told the condemned prisoner, that it was rather unfortunate for him to have been singled out, because he was caught. “After all,” he said, “you are not the first, and you certainly will not be the last man to commit these crimes.” He went on to say to the condemned man that his trial was unfair, because his lawyer failed to adequately defend him, and the judge was biased. Therefore, he advised the prisoner to begin to plan his escape.
The second man interjected, telling the condemned prisoner that though his pedigree was of a criminal background, it was him and not his family members who committed the crimes he was now to die for. The second man went on to tell the condemned prisoner that; had he not been caught, tried, and sentenced, he certainly would have continued in his crimes; and the conversation they were having then, would never have taken place. This second man then advised the condemned prisoner not to seek to escape, but to rather make restitution to the individuals and families concerned, and ask forgiveness for his crimes from the One Who could give him life after his execution.
As the prisoner sat pondering on the things he was told, and the possible course of action he should follow; the key of his cell door clicked. It was the prison officials. The time of reckoning had finally come. It was time to pay his debt to society!
Friend, the story of the condemned prisoner can be likened to the condition of all of Mankind. Without exception, all…