August 29, 2014

Final moments on death row

A deacon recounts the final moments of a man on death row

After reading from 1 John, I asked Joe who his master was, fear or God’s love. He got the message. He was assured his death this day would not get the last word, love would. Then we talked about giving his life up as an offering, that what sometimes seems to be a curse holds the potential to be a great blessing, a blessing because of the cross. This day the blessing would be eternal life — supernatural life with God.

I asked him if he believed it was possible for God to make something good out of what was bad or seemed lost. I pointed to who he was many years ago and who he had become after encountering Christ. I assured him that God could use the darkness of this day, too, to end in good as well. He smiled and understood what I was saying.

I told him fear was beneath him at this point in his journey, he belonged to Christ.

I also stated that this day was his day to be Simon of Cyrene. This day was his day to help carry the cross, to help Jesus in his own way for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (Col. 1:24).

I then described the irony of the day. This day which is meant to be a punishment will be filled with grace, if only you surrender your entire self to God, offering up all of the good and bad of your life to God, to lay every bit of it at the cross. I explained that it was a very useful day, a day that could bring peace unlike any other day in his life. A peace so powerful there would be no fear in the moment of truth. If he trusted perfect love and let it consume him, it would cast out all fear.

We spoke about when Jesus appeared in the upper room and the very first thing He said and offered was shalom — peace be with you. Jesus was saying you are one with God, you are one with Me. I have reconciled you to Myself.
Posted by Jill Fallon at August 29, 2014 11:38 AM | Permalink