inspired by Fully Justified’s song “Rescue Me”
Thirteen year old Sean and his father were walking down Main Street and noticed an unusual display in a shop window. “There’s a dog in that cage!” A large hand lettered sign on the cage read: “Death row!” This animal has one more day to live.” Sean stopped and looked at the small, brown eyed puppy inside. “What does that sign mean, Dad?” he asked. “It’s a new program that the animal shelter is trying out,” said his Dad. “They can’t take care of all the stray dogs and cats. This display lets people know about the problem and gives the animal’s one last chance to be adopted. If no one takes the puppy, he’ll be put to sleep.” “You mean this little puppy is going to be killed?” moaned Sean. “Yes, Sean, he is.”
He stared through the glass at the unfortunate puppy. “Poor little guy,” he said sadly. “Oh Dad, can’t we take him home? Look, he likes us already.” Dad sighed. “We already have two hamsters.” “But this is different,” Sean insisted. “This dog needs us, Dad. It sort of reminds of Jesus.” What do you mean? asked his Dad. “Well, you told me we were already condemned, on death row in a way, before Jesus saved us from our sins,” explained Sean. “If Jesus hadn’t rescued me, I’d still be on my way to hell. I want to rescue this dog like Jesus rescued me.”
Do you know that how you see Jesus determines what you receive from Him? If you see Jesus as your healer, you will receive healing. If you see Jesus as your refuge and fortress, you will receive protection. The people of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, saw Jesus in the natural. They said of Him, “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us?” (Matthew 13:55–56) They saw Jesus in the natural. They did not see Him as God in the flesh. As a result, He could not do many mighty works there. (Matthew 13:58)
Today, many people, including some philosophers, see Jesus of Nazareth as a good person who led an exemplary life. They feel that if all of us could live our lives like Him, the world would be a better place. They don’t see Jesus as the bread of God who came from heaven to give life to the world. (John 6:33) They don’t see Him as the one who came to give them living water, so that they would never thirst again. (John 4:14) They don’t see Him as the Lamb of God, who took away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) They don’t receive from Him what they need because they don’t esteem Him rightly.
Jesus did not come just to set a good example for man to follow. He came to be our Redeemer. (Galatians 3:13) He came to be our righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1:30) He came to be our shepherd, so that we will not lack anything. (Psalm 23:1) Jesus asked His disciples once, “But who do you say that I am?” How you answer this question depends on how you see Jesus. And how you see Jesus will determine how and what you receive from Him.
The Bible says for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) And that the wages of that sin is death. But the good news is that the verse continues by saying, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Jesus’ whole purpose for coming to earth was to be the sacrificial lamb that would ultimately be the savior of the world.
Just like the dog in the story, we too were on our way to death row. Our only escape was through being rescued. Sean rescued that little dog, and so too did Jesus rescue us from our fate. He gave us an opportunity to be saved one and for all. And it was a no brainer for the dog to want to go home with the family, so too I would hope it would be a no brainer for you to be freed from your sin and penalty of death too.
God made it really simple. He tells us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Also in Romans 5:8, it says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” In other words, we have to first realize that we’re on death row because of all the things we’ve thought said or done that displeased God. Then we have to recognize that there’s nothing we can do on our own to be freed from this sentence. Finally, we need to accept the offer of freedom given to us through Jesus. It’s that simple. When we are honest with God, He listens.
So, if you are reading this devotion and are thinking to yourself, I don’t want to be on death row any more, I want to be taken home. Just reach out to Jesus and say, “Rescue Me” I’ve sinned. I’ve done things that have displeased you and I’m sorry. Please forgive me and save me from the penalty of death and take me home. If you just said that, you have been rescued. The verdict has been reversed, you’re free to go home. God promises us in the Bible in John 14:3 that He is preparing a place for us in His home in heaven. And for all those He has rescued, He will come back and get and bring them home.
So as I close, I have one final challenge. I want you to be like Sean. If you know someone who is on spiritual death row, that has never asked Jesus to be their Savior, show them how to be rescued. And if you still haven’t asked Jesus to save you, what are you waiting for? It’s a no brainer. Be free from your sin, get off of death row and come home.
Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at email@example.com
Fully Justified is a rock band based out of West Virginia. If you’d like to read the lyrics to this song or any of their songs, you can go to: http://www.reverbnation.com/fullyjustifiedband. For more information on Fully Justified you can also go to: https://www.facebook.com/FullyJustified
Want to read other devotionals written by Tim? Go to: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/kindreds-devotional-series/463516160364310