“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”I Peter 2:24
I recently started rewatching the Andy Griffith Show and I enjoy taking in an episode or two before bedtime. The show has great characters and they are always good for a laugh or two. One of my favorite characters on the show is Otis. He is only seen intermittently but I love it when he makes an appearance on the show.
Otis is the town drunk of Mayberry, and he always seems to show up at the Sheriff’s office after a night on the town. He does not need to be arrested as he simply finds the key to the cell and lets himself in. He has not been charged with anything, but he knows he has done wrong and locks himself in jail. He knows better, but seems to find himself in this predicament quite often. He does not have to be imprisoned, but yet he chooses to live in an imprisoned state. I am often guilty of living the same way.
The moment I received Jesus Christ as my Savior, I was no longer a prisoner and slave to sin. I was now dead to sins and free to go. I no longer had to obey my flesh, and I was given a new master. I was now called to live a righteous and holy life. I Corinthians 6:20 states, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I was bought with the price of His stripes, and I was healed from my broken condition. I was and am free to live for God, but I often look for the keys to my old cell.
Like Otis, we forget that we are dead to sins, and we open up our old cell and comfortably let ourselves back in. The keys to get out are right there, but we seem to enjoy the bars we are behind. We forsake our freedom we have in Him, and we are so prone to wander from our God. We forget that the God who saved us is the One who indwells us and desires that we live free.
Are you comfortable letting yourself in your old prison cell of sin? Do you live unto righteousness? Are you dead to sins with God’s help? Have you been healed by His stripes? May we not soon forget His payment for our sins, and may we choose to exercise the spiritual freedom we have through Him. May we remember the stripes He took for us, and may our love for Him tame our temptation to sin. Will you be like Otis or will you choose to live free?