The Old Idaho State Penitentiary first opened its doors in 1870 and continued to operate until 1973. During the years of operation housed 13,000 convicts, one of which was Harry Orchard. Orchard began his sentence in 1908 after being convicted of the assassination of a former governor of Idaho.
Years later, due to good behavior, Orchard was offered parole. He chose to stay and eventually died on April 13, 1954. Our tour guide surmised perhaps the man had enemies on the outside he didn’t want to face, or after serving so long in prison, he couldn’t imagine leaving.
After parole was offered, Harry chose to return to his dingy cell, never again to experience freedom. He had a choice. We also have a choice.
Many people are locked in their past. Their innocence was taken from them, or through their own bad choice innocence was lost. Unable to move forward, they remain trapped in the prison of their mind. Memories pounce and mangle leaving us shaking, quaking, unable to process what happened, much less deal with today.
How can we regain what was lost? How can we go free when our enemies continue to roam, or our own failures condemn us? The enemy pushes us inside the prison but can’t lock us in. Jesus stands at the door to our freedom. He came to set the captives free and to release the prisoners, Luke 4:18. And if we choose freedom, we go through Christ to be washed clean. Innocence is regained, and what was once lost is restored.
Please visualize the process. God offers total and complete restoration. You chose Christ. Every bad thought, every evil action and every evil touch, taken away. Every bit of sin is forgiven and removed. Every spot now pure. You are wholly recreated in Christ. When God looks at you, He sees His perfect Son.
Your prison cell is open and you are free. Again, Jesus stands at the door, this time to block the path back to the past.
Those bad memories? You don’t have to go back; Jesus stands at the door. Those failures? They’re gone, Jesus stands at the door. Your sins? They’re clean, Jesus stands at the door. Don’t listen to Satan’s lies that you can never be free, or your innocence never regained. Don’t believe the enemy who was behind all the evil in the first place. The cell door is open and Jesus stands at the door.
You are completely, totally, washed clean, innocence restored, recreated and free in Christ.
Wounded? May I suggest… No Wound Too Deep For The Deep Love of Christ