A couple of months ago, I saw an online article with the headline, “Trio wrongfully convicted of murder released after 18 years in prison.”  I didn’t have time to read it at that moment, so I bookmarked the article for later reference.  I finally got around to reading it on Tuesday.  It seems that three New York men, Michael Cosme, Devon Ayers, and Carlos Perez, were released from prison on January 23.  They had been convicted in 1995 for the murder of a cab driver and a FedEx executive.  Recently, however, two gang members confessed to murdering the cab driver, and the remainder of the case against the three imprisoned men began to disintegrate.

Upon their release, the three men talked about the difficulty of being incarcerated for nearly two decades, during which they maintained their innocence and worked tirelessly to have their names cleared and the record set straight.  I can’t imagine the level of relief and elation that these men felt to finally be free men again and to look forward to rebuilding their lives and reuniting with family members and friends.

The headline in Scripture, however, reads, “Millions who were rightfully and justly convicted of sin against God are released from guilt, freed from condemnation, and set free from eternal punishment through Jesus Christ.”

Jesus releases the guilty, because there are no innocent ones (Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:23).  Jesus didn’t come to call the righteous (Luke 5:31-32), simply because there weren’t any to call; none of us were spiritually healthy; all of us were sick with sin and in need of healing from the Divine Doctor.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly… But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:6,8).

And, because of His victory over death that will be celebrated around the world this Easter Sunday, “He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them,” (Hebrews 7:25).

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift,” (II Corinthians 9:15).

The release of the guilty!  How incredible is that!

Have a blessed and happy Easter!