“The Shawshank Redemption” was a movie about prison life for a man wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife.  One section of dialogue from the movie went like this — Red: “Everybody’s innocent in here.”  Andy: “What about you?”  Red: “Only guilty man in Shawshank.”  There is a well known phrase in the world of law that many refer to regarding wrongful convictions.  That phrase is “travesty of justice”.  Throughout history we can see occasions that qualify for that distinction.  The Salem witch trials resulted in the deaths of innocent people because of malicious gossip.  Although he was convicted and executed, many feel that Bruno Hauptman was innocent of the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby.  And then there was the case that eventually became the basis of the hit TV show and movie, The Fugitive, when Sam Shepherd was convicted of murdering his wife, only to have his conviction eventually overturned by the Supreme Court.

Innocent men and women have been victims of the “travesty of justice” throughout all history, but there was none greater than that of one nearly 2000 years ago.  A young Galilean man, with a great following, created such a stir among the religious leaders of His time that He became the target of the greatest of all travesties of justice.  Jesus of Nazareth was guilty of nothing, except that He loved His creation, mankind.  Because of that love He “became flesh” and “dwelt among men” only to have certain men turn on Him.  That hatred fueled the eventual death of Jesus on Calvary’s cross, His burial, and most important of all, His resurrection from the dead.

The thing we forget sometimes with this type of situation is that while an innocent man pays the penalty, the guilty go free.  In the case of Jesus, we, all who have lived, are living, or will live are guilty.  His death was in place of our own.  His miscarriage of justice allows us the opportunity to be free, free from the burden of sin!  Friend, I hope you appreciate what Jesus has done for you and that your faith drives you to render service to Him who has served your sentence.

Copyright © 2006, Nolan P. Rutter

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