TITLE: Lousy Choices
DATE: November 18, 2018
TEXT: Matthew 10:28 (ESV) 8 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[
Todd Sutton, Terry Lynn King, Stephen Michael West and David Earl Miller have done some bad things.
Actually, I don’t know what bad things these men are supposed to have done; nor do I know the particular of their trials. I do know that juries and judges from the grand state of Tennessee have ruled that these men will live out their limited lives on death row.
Then, when all the appeals and petitions for pardon have been ended, the State will end their lives.
I can only imagine what must go on in the minds of men who have been condemned to die. So many of the normal thoughts which run through our minds have no meaning or purpose to these individuals.
So what does a person on death row think about ?…. It would seem they think about death.
You see, in Tennessee an individual can be executed by lethal injection or by electrocution.
Well, these men, having given some serious thought to those two options open to them and have decided there are just too many dangers and discomforts connected to either method.
They have agreed, they would much prefer execution by firing squad. To bring about such a change is why they have filed a lawsuit which says a firing squad would be faster and less painful than the present possibilities. The petition adds: the normal place for Tennessee’s executions already has a shooting range and the state has the firearms, ammunition and trained marksmen available.
In short, they’re saying they would rather BE shot than take a shot or a shock. I can understand their reasoning and their focus.
But as I read this article, I wonder if their consideration of the method and moment of death has so preoccupied these men that they are ignoring the eternity which comes after their last breath. That kind of thing can happen. That’s why, when Jesus was with us He gave the warning, (Mt. 10:28 - ESV) “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Now if I read my Scriptures rightly, the Lord Jesus has made it so we don’t have to be afraid of temporal or eternal death. As our perfect Substitute, Jesus shouldered the sins of every man, woman and child and carried them to the cross. There, in the most unfair, unjust execution this world has ever seen, the sinless Son of God gave up His life so all those who believe on Him might live forever.
Or as Psalm 23 (4a) says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;…”
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, death can be depressing and intimidating. Thankfully I have been given a Savior who has taken away the fear of death and the power of the grave. Grant that my life may reflect the freedom and joy the Redeemer bestows. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Daniel Uri on November 5, 2018 for the UPI . Those who wish to reference this article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/11/05/Death-row-inmates-sue-Tennessee-for-right-to-firing-squad-execution/1221541466573/