When I first started looking for and listening to Christian music, I came across the music of a band called Creed. They are not technically a “Christian band” because their music covers a number of different themes and they aren’t on a Christian label, but they definitely have some songs that are faith-based. One of my favorites is “My Own Prison.” When I was getting ready for work yesterday, it came on my iPod (currently on shuffle of my Christian playlist). I’ve been pondering doing a post based on this song for some time, and decided today is the day. I found this great acoustic version on YouTube to share. Listen carefully to the lyrics.
Although the band is not a “Christian” band, the individual band members do all identify themselves as Christians. The themes of many of their songs touch on Christian theology and spirituality. “My Own Prison” speaks of the cross as the key to freedom. It is in Christ that freedom is found. So many people live in a prison of their own making. They live in prisons of addiction, hatred, greed, selfishness, and more. They are held captive by sin. They don’t know that there is a way to not only escape, but to be truly free.
Luke records this account of Jesus’ teaching about why He came, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah:
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21 (NIV).
Jesus came to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners” and to “set the oppressed free.” But do we, as Christians, help those who are captive in a prison of their own making find the key to freedom? Or are we so busy pointing out their sins and faults that we forget that we were once like them, if not in degree at least in kind. We were all once sinners in need of grace to set us free.
Worse yet, many Christians continue to live in a prison of their own making and struggle to take hold of the freedom that Christ offers. They hold the key, but instead of using it to unlock their own prison they “drop and kneel” as their demons continue to taunt them, trying to do penance for their own sin. They can’t quite accept that Jesus would and did pay the full price for all their sin. Each new transgression or failure results in a crisis of faith, leaving them locked in a prison of doubt wondering if they are truly saved.
Are you still living in your own prison? If so, take hold of the key to Life itself, Christ Jesus our Lord, and unlock the door. When you walk free, slam that prison door shut behind you and walk with Him who set you free. And don’t forget, when you see others still imprisoned in their sin, don’t judge and point out their sin. Show them the key that will set them free. Tell them that “if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 (NLT)