“How did I get into this mess? Life is terrible. Does anyone care . . . ANYONE? Where are you, God?”, a man’s hope-starved voice echoed across the narrow corridors of the prison.

A few moments later, a metal tray was slipped beneath the heavy prison door. It contained a Styrofoam cup filled three-quarters full with watered-down orange juice and a plate filled with an over-roasted turkey sandwich and a few crushed potato chips. The occupant took one look at his lunch and went off on another tangent. “I hate this place. I hate this food. I hate this cell.”

A guard looked at the grumbling prisoner through the bulletproof glass. He noticed a piece of unopened mail sitting on a card table in the corner of the cell. Having inspected it before delivery, he knew it contained a full pardon from the governor. But the prisoner had not even bothered to open his ticket to freedom. The guard shook his head in disbelief, and walked away.

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you have been granted a full pardon for your sins. What will you do with it? You can either claim its benefits, or neglect it and waste away your life.

Maybe you’re wrestling with feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression because of unfavorable circumstances in your life. Will you lock yourself in a prison of despair, or will you allow the love of Christ to set you free? Christ’s pardon has secured your freedom. Don’t let it go to waste.

We are certain that there is forgiveness, because there is a gospel, and the very essence of the gospel lies in the proclamation of the pardon of sin. C.H. Spurgeon

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.