Was this the worst capital punishment ever?
With each passing year, more and more regions are working to ban the death penalty.
But in the history of the death penalty, I think I’ve stumbled upon the most horrifying I can imagine. And I didn’t find out about it on YouTube or in a Stephen King novel.
I found out about it in Bible study, of all places.
We were studying the book of Romans and I was reading over Chapter 7 and stumbled upon the following verses:
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
It’s worth noting that I’m not exactly new to the Bible. But it was like reading a verse for the first time.
At least it was after I decided to break things down to a word-for-word basis.
And that’s when I found out exactly what “body of death” meant.
You see, all the times I’d read it before, I just assumed it was a reference to the natural “sin” body and nature.
Boy was I wrong.
Because the body of death was a terrifying form of capital punishment dating back to the days of the Roman emperors.
It probably wasn’t quite as popular as crucifixion was, but it was a documented punishment that if you were to murder someone, you could be punished by having the corpse of the person you killed strapped to your back.
At first, it’s just a burden.
Then it’s a smelly burden.
But over time, as the corpse decays and disease sets in, the corpse on your back acts as an absolute death sentence.
And when you think about it, sin is the same way.
The world and the ruler of this world would love people to believe that sin is freedom. That doing what you want is liberty.
But the only freedom and liberty you find is the “freedom” to kill yourself faster and to take others down with you when you go.
The good news is that, unlike the Roman emperors who would leave you strapped to the body of death until your death arrived, we have a Savior with the power to separate us from that deadly burden once and for all.
Time is short. The signs are everywhere. There is only one who can deliver you from the body of death you’ve been dragging around with you.
And not just the body of death, but the shame and the guilt that come with it.
Are you ready to give your life over to Him for real liberty and freedom?