You are free! Change your clothes.

2 Kings 25:27-30  27 On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Judah’s King Jehoiachin, in the year Evil-merodach became king of Babylon, he pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 28 He spoke kindly to him and set his throne over the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. 30 As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king, a portion for each day, for the rest of his life. 

King Jehoiachin’s life wasn’t going exactly how he had planned it.  Not too long ago, he was basking in the glory of his anointing as the king of Judah.  He was the boss, the guy in control.  He called the shots and people followed his commands.  But lately it hasn’t gone well.  He found himself in prison, captured by the king of Babylon.  He was nothing more than an ordinary prisoner, unable to live a real life.  He was trapped, neglected, hurting, and hopeless.

Then it happened.  What seemed to be completely out of the blue, the king of Babylon released him from prison.  His sentence was pardoned and he was given a throne in this foreign land.  It was a turn of events that would change his life.  He no longer was kept in a cell under lock and key.  Gone were the days of guards watching his every move.  He was free!  And he changed his prison clothes.  Of course he changed out of his prison clothes – free people shouldn’t be wearing those.

You’ve been set free, too.  Jesus paid the price and your sentence was pardoned.  You are no longer under lock and key, but are free to live your life to the fullest in Him.  Are you still wearing your prison clothes?  Because it’s really hard to live free, when every time you look in the mirror, you see a prisoner.  Change your clothes, people!   Take off the old clothes of the past.  Because people who are dressed like spiritual prisoners end up convincing themselves that they still are.  You’re not!  You are free!  Clothe yourself in Christ Jesus today.  Take on His identity and His righteousness today.  Jehoiachin stopped dressing like a prisoner and so should you.

“Get out of jail free” card

Galatians 3:22,14 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.  14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Monopoly: the longest board game known to mankind.  It is a fun one, especially if you own all the properties on the board.  But there’s one little spot that is no fun to land on; it is the “go to jail” space.  Who wants to go to jail?  What a bummer.  It keeps you from advancing around the board and buying.  You just feel stuck while everyone else is living it up.  And you can’t get out very easily either.  Sure you can pay your way out (like bail), but if you are broke you have to roll doubles.  It’s not easy really, so there you sit, doing hard time in a board game.

That is unless you have a “get out of jail free” card.  Those are the best! I mean, who wouldn’t want to get out of jail for free?  There are no repercussions either, no consequences.  You don’t have to be on probation.  You don’t have to prove you are innocent.  You don’t have to wear an ankle monitor.  You are just free.  There’s nothing like slapping down that card that says, “oh ya, take that jail.”

The scriptures say that the whole world landed on the virtual jail spot.  I guess we were born in jail = bummer.  It’s the jail of sin.  But apparently God has an infinite supply of “get of jail free” cards.  Paul writes that the way to get one of these cards is by faith in Jesus Christ.  He is the way out of the prison of sin.  Jesus is the ultimate “get out of jail free” card. He wants us to be free – and all so that was promised could be given to us.  But getting out of this jail isn’t for the purpose of buying more stuff and putting hotels on it.  It is to receive a different kind of promise.

Verse 14 tells us what the promise is all about.  It says that we have been sprung from jail (redeemed) so that the blessing, through faith in Christ, would be received by us.  That blessing, the promise, is the Holy Spirit.  Jesus came and broke us out of jail and He made it free for us.  When we get out, we are really free.  We don’t have probation or an ankle monitor.  We don’t have to prove we are free.  We just get to be free.  But let’s not forget the purpose behind the jailbreak.  God wants us to have the very thing that empowers us to remain free: the Holy Spirit.  Receive Him today.  Live in Him and abide in Him today.  You will find freedom that you never knew existed as His power comes upon you in your life.  Now that’s a good deal.

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

John 8:25  25 “Who are you?” they asked.  “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied.

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

It has to be one of the best movie lines of all time.  It is from “The Princess Bride,” a movie classic.  I am sure we have all seen it and have quoted lines from it over and over again.  Lines like, “inconceivable and anybody want a peanut?”  But the one that stands above the rest for me is this: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”  Here you have this man, Inigo Montoya, on a quest to avenge his father’s death.  He must find the six fingered man, end his life, and all will be well with the world.  And when he is asked, “who are you?” his reply is simply this classic movie line.  Over and over again he repeats it to anyone who will listen to his story.

And for some reason, John chapter 8 reminds me of Inigo Montoya.  Here you have the Jews asking Jesus over and over again, “who are you?”  He answers them.  They ask him again.  He answers them again.  Here in verse 25, his reply is simply that he is who he has been telling you he is from the beginning.  His answer hasn’t changed.  He is the Son of God.  He has been sent by the Father.  And it would continue on for the rest of his life.  He would be asked again and again who he was.  His answer never changed.  He was who he claimed that he was.  But his mantra would be different from that of Inigo Montoya.  He would probably say something like, “Hello. My name is Jesus Christ.  I have been sent by my Father.  Prepare to live.”

You know what?  I am prepared to live.  I don’t want to just believe in Jesus or talk about Him.  I want to live in Him.  I want to know Him.  I want to take what he said and let it be life to me.  So today, I am going to listen carefully to his answer to this question of who are you.  I am going to receive his freedom and his life.  He said it: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (verse 36)  Let’s receive him for who he is and for what he said he would do.  Let’s be ready to live today!