Life On Death Row


She was only one woman - actually an inmate on Death Row - but she became the center of a public opinion hurricane. Karla Faye Tucker - convicted of a brutal pickax murder in Texas, sentenced to die, on Death Row for almost 14 years. Reporters from across the country and around the world descended on Hunstville, Texas in the days and weeks before her scheduled execution. And millions of us heard Karla Faye speak for herself as she explained the dramatic change that had taken place in her life. Karla Faye explained that she had trusted Jesus Christ to be her Savior, believing that the sin He died to forgive covered even the heinous things she had done. The way she lived in prison, the way she seemed to speak from deep in her heart lent credibility to the story of rebirth that she told.

And the way she died. All her appeals were denied- and that seemed to OK with her - she was ready to live to make a difference or to die and see her Savior. While the hurricane of debate over her execution raged around her, she seemed to be the only person who had the most peace of all. Even to the moment of her death. In her final words, she told the family of her victims, "I am so sorry. I hope God will give you peace with this." And as for her? She said, "I am going to be face to face with Jesus now. I love all of you very much. I will see you all when you get there." The reporter who witnessed her execution described her as "calm and composed" right to the end.

Karla Faye Tucker deserved to die for what she did. But because of what she said Jesus had done for her, she lived and died with a deep sense of personal peace. A peace that many people WISH they had. Peace about the mistakes and sins of the past. Peace about what will happen on the other side of our last heartbeat - about what will happen to us forever. That peace IS available.

The Word of God says in John 5:24; "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." Jesus is talking here about condemned people . . . people destined to death. And He's talking about you and me.

The disturbing verdict of the Bible is that we are all on Death Row as far as God is concerned. Eternal death - unending separation from God and His love - that's the penalty for what God calls sin. And He says in the Bible, "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans. 3:23). Which means every one of us is under sin's death sentence.

And sin means much more than a brutal murder or a life of crime. Sin is our choice to run our own lives instead of letting God run them - to do what we want to do, no matter what the Creator says. Every one of us is, in our own way, a rebel against God . . . a sinner. Sentenced to death - forever.

That's why our word for today is so amazing. God says condemned people can go free . . . people sentenced to die can, in a moment, have that death penalty canceled and receive the gift of eternal life. How? By putting your total trust in Jesus - Who went to the cross as your substitute, dying your death penalty. In the moment you say, "Jesus, I'm Yours", you have "crossed over from death to life."

If you've never done that - and you want that peace of being ready to live and ready to die - tell Jesus you're trusting Him to be your Savior from your sin - beginning right now. At that moment, every sin will be forgiven . . . your name will be entered in God's reservation book for heaven . . . and you will know you're going to heaven when you die!

When you do, your days on Death Row are over - forever. You've been pardoned by Jesus Himself. And when it's your time to die, you'll be able to say with absolute peace, "I am going to be face to face with Jesus right now."

Ron Hutchcraft

Thanks to Daily Wisdom dw-subscribe@lists.gospelcom.net

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