Lesson From A Slave Castle

As you may already know, I had the opportunity to go to Ghana, West Africa on a missions trip a few years ago.  I will be going back very soon.  As the date gets closer, I find myself doing a lot of reminiscing about my previous visit.

During my last trip to Ghana, I had the opportunity to visit Elmina Slave Castle.  This castle, erected in 1482, became one of the most important stops on the route to the Atlantic Slave Trade.  I could not begin to describe to you the atrocities that occurred in this building as described to us by our tour guide.  I would, however, like to share this quick lesson with you.

Taken by Aluka Digital Library

Our guide told us there were three reasons why someone would become a slave.

1. Crimes you committed.

2.  Debt that you could not pay.

3.  You were born into it.

We fit all three conditions of slavery to sin.

  1. We have committed crimes.  “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
  2. We all have a debt that we cannot pay.  “…without the shedding of blood, there can be no sacrifice for sin.”  Hebrews 3:23
  3. We were all born into sin.  “I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5

I am thankful that we have an advocate!

  1. I have committed crimes.  BUT! Blotting out the handwriting of the ordinances that was against us… and took it our of the way, nailing it to His cross.” Col. 2:14
  2. I had a debt that I could not pay.  BUT!  “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
  3. I was born into sin.  BUT!  I have been “born again of water and of Spirit.” John 3:5

No more shackles, no more chains….

Pro Se

 Pro Se: “for oneself”

“There is an old saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client, and not many lawyers try it.  But people like you and me apparently do.  The number is actually kind of shocking.  In New York state alone 1.8 million people represent themselves in court in a typical year.”  – This American Life Podcast “Pro Se”.

What is the reason that most people represent themselves in the court of law?  They simply can’t afford a lawyer.

As I listened to this podcast I thought, “how often to do I try to represent myself ‘pro se’ in the court of life?  It is only natural for man to defend himself, right?  We are always the first one to stand up and defend ourselves.  We defend our choices, our opinions, our prejudices, our lifestyles, and our beliefs.  But this is what I have found, I stink at defending myself!  I need a lawyer!

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2

I have an advocate!  He is someone who will speak on my behalf.  He is someone who will come to my defense.  This is good news for someone who isn’t very good at defending himself.

Not only is He my advocate, He is the propitiation for my sins.  He is the appeasement for my sins.  That is why He alone is uniquely qualified to defend me.

I am in good hands.

I rest my case.