“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” John 5:24

 “They took my 30’s, my 40’s and my 50’s, but they could not take my joy.” These words were spoken from the mouth of Anthony Ray Hinton after his release from prison, where he had spent 32 years awaiting execution. Mr. Hinton had been wrongfully accused of a murder he did not commit, and had it not been for the work of a pro bono legal team, his life would have ended there at an Alabama correctional facility. When asked if he was bitter, Mr. Hinton replied, “I can’t be bitter because my Bible tells me not to be.” Mr. Hinton was grateful that because of the help of others, he had passed from death to life.

Imprisoned by paralysis for 38 years, the man by the Pool of Bethesda was asked by Jesus, “Do you want to be healed?” He replied to this question by giving Jesus all the reasons why he had never been healed. Fortunately for him, though, he finished the encounter by doing exactly what Jesus told him to do, “Pick up your mat and walk.”

In John 5:24, Jesus gives us clear instructions on how we can pass from death to life, and that is by simply putting our trust in Him. We had all received a death sentence ourselves because, unlike Mr. Hinton, we were all guilty. But, like the man beside the pool, all we had to do was listen and follow the words of Jesus and believe on Him.

With that trust and belief in Jesus, we receive both the promise of abundant eternal life and the promise that we will never be judged for our sins. All of this is made possible because Jesus paid the punishment and penalty for our sins.

Today, as a recipient of God’s grace, Salvation, and freedom, rejoice that you have passed from death to life!

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