The time is November, 1968. The scene is a monochrome black and white. The occasional, random sound echoes from off the hard, thickly painted masonary and metal surfaces.
You are sitting in the viewing gallery of a state prison, on death row, listening to the private thoughts of a condemned felon. Who, in only a few moments, will be electrocuted for the crime of multiple murders.
You are about to witness the execution of a man who had savagely slit the throats of his many victims.
"For the last time the shiny blade has done its job. The ragged yellow page is in my wet palm. I can squeeze no more sense from it. I know it by heart. Yet, no better than I do my unfaithful wife.
"Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom is due; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, therefore: love is the fulfilling of the law."
My head is shaved. Time to pay ... No stay of death will stop what's coming my way ... My thoughts are razor sharp. They slash and bleed my doubting heart ... Am I saved? Am I saved?
If I can lose my salvation, that means there are unforgiven sins of mine that Christ did not die for and - I am lost. If my sin after saving faith can defeat my salvation, how was my sin forgiven in the first place? Is it not the blood of Christ that washes away all my sin? If I can be saved again, then I am back to where I started and I am lost. If salvation is a reward then Christ died for nothing and I am lost!
Oh, wretched man that I am! Condemned to die! Who will save me from the miserable followers of a God they command: "Save thyself! Save thyself! Come down from the cross"?
I am overcome and fallen from a grace I can never deserve. I am held hostage to doubt, blackmailed by religion, and left to make sense of it all!
Lies! Damnable lies! They are wrong ... Faith has made reason my friend ... Oh, glorious day! I am forgiven! You died my death and shed your blood for me. Save me! Give me your resurrection life, sweet faithful Jesus. Love me! Fulfill the law for me, before I leave this wicked world to be with you today in Paradise!"
I invite the interested reader to view this article as originally composed with pictures at www.koinoniaofgrace.com
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Copyright 2007-2008 by David Coulon. Registered and released under CC license 3.0 2007-2008.
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