So picture this scene, you’ve raped and you’ve pillaged.
You’ve murdered, you’ve lied, you’ve destroyed a whole village.
And when the High Courts catch you, you’re guilty of crime.
You’re covered in blood, you’re punished to die.
They explain to you you’re death will be gruesome and slow.
You’ll be stripped, you’ll be beaten, you’ll be put on as show.
You’ll be spit on and mocked until you bleed out.
As your dignity is lost, surely justice will be found.
And as you kneel on your knees and await the first blow
You feel a hand on your shoulder and hear a voice that you know.
It’s the Prince, the Prince, who sat at the right of the King.
He stands before you, blocking you from lashes’ first sting.
“Kill me instead,” the Prince declares.
The gasps from the crowd match your awestruck stare.
“But Prince, you’re innocent, you’ve committed no crime.”
“But I love you,” he states, “so I choose to die.”
And just like that, the Prince is dragged away.
He’s flogged and he’s beaten and put on display.
Not understanding what has happened or the grace you’ve been shown,
The King says, “Don’t leave yet. You must inherit the throne.”
Because the Prince died, because His blood was shed,
You’ll spend eternity feasting on Royal Family bread.
That’s the Gospel. That’s the gospel of Jesus the Son.
Taking on your debt so that your life may be won.
Not just your life on earth, your life within that cell.
I’m speaking of eternal life—in heaven or in hell.
There will come a time you’re given chance to start on a clean slate.
What kind of life will you account for when you stand at heaven’s gate?
I’ve got a story for you now, one you might not believe.
I took a bullet to my dreams when I was just 19.
I lived a privileged, cushy, comfortable life.
Sunday was the only day I needed a Christ.
My daddy was my best friend, my hero, my favorite.
Until one day he decided life was too hard to make it.
He left a love note, a voicemail—and here’s the scariest part,
Not but a few hours later he left a bullet in his heart.
It was January third I saw his body in a morgue,
And it was January third I said I needed God no more.
If He was good, if He was Holy, how could He let this disaster happen?
I knew no God, I knew no King, I knew no happy ever after.
That year I took refuge in Satan’s addiction
Finding temporary fixes to comfort my condition.
Partying, drinking, the American Dream,
all the while fighting depression and anxiety’s sting.
I was hurting, I was broken, I was running from the truth.
I saw no healing in my life, I saw no heart-changing proof.
This was it for me, this was as good as it would get,
At times I understood why my dad did what he did.
And all that while that I ran, God stayed knocking on my heart
Begging me to let Him in, begging to restart.
But I was hardened, angry, convinced it wasn’t fair,
Boldly telling God to take His knocking elsewhere.
Then almost one year later on a cool Thanksgiving night,
I was speeding home to Georgia, weary from the fight.
I lashed out in anger and yelled loudly at the King,
“God if you’re so real, prove it! Reveal yourself to me!”
The next thing I knew my car was out of control,
It careened across the interstate before I could take hold.
It flipped and it cranked, it crashed and it shattered.
As soon as it all stopped, I knew my body was tattered.
I was hanging upside down in pile of steel,
I was bleeding, I was broken, I was shocked that it was real.
And in that moment of surrender, in that moment of need,
I could feel the Spirit’s presence washing over me.
“You’ve got a choice to make,” God impressed on my soul.
“Put your faith in Me and let all this anger go.
Or else continue to buy in to what society sells you,
But let me promise you now that will only serve to wreck you.
My Son didn’t take a lash for you to live in your addiction,
My Son didn’t take a blow for you to dwell in this position.
My Son didn’t hang and bleed for lust to blind your eyes.
My Son didn’t die a noble death for us to compromise.”
You see freedom is found on a cross with a King.
It’s not defined by a jumpsuit or designed bling.
It doesn’t matter your location, the place, or the time,
It doesn’t matter your violence, your hate, or the crime.
See you’re forgiven, you’re forgiven, you’re made new in His sight.
You’re made clean, you’re washed pure, don’t have to put up a fight.
It’s over, it’s done, you can lay it at the foot of the cross.
You have a King that loves you, that offered His heart at no cost.
So rise up, rise up in that freedom and hope.
No more days can pass where you sit and you mope.
Let’s rejoice in our suffering, our hardship, our pain.
‘cuz at the end of the day we have only to gain.
The sun rises and sets and we press on through time
Break the chains on your heart that define you by crime.
Strip the shackles and scars in Jesus Christ’s name.
And understand, as I stand here, we’re one in the same.
Brothers and sisters and loved ones in Christ.
He took nails in His hands to offer us life.
He said you are not defined by your past or your plans,
You are ONLY defined by the scars on Christ’s hands.