Why avoid the death penalty?

No death penalty

No death penalty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve heard it more than once, but a story on the news headlines this morning made me think.  The headline said that a man on trial which would carry the death penalty if convicted is trying to get multiple life sentences to avoid death.

My question to these actions is this: why?  I’ve never understood the thinking in preferring living in a prison cell for decades instead of just ending it.  Why is it better to live like an animal rather than die and be done with it?  Do the convicts that choose this path have a hope that they will be set free somehow?  Or, is it a fear of what’s on the other side of death?

Let me take a moment to postulate an answer.  Let’s take me as an example.  I have accepted Jesus as my savior.  I have no fear of death.  I may have some fear of the pain involved in the dying process, but not in death.  I don’t fear dying because when I do I get to go home.  I go home to God because Jesus made a way for me.  Death for me as a Christian is a release to something better than I can imagine.

Now, if I had not accepted Jesus then maybe my attitude would be different.  Maybe I would be scratching and clawing to hold onto this life with all that I had.  I don’t even think I would have to believe in Jesus’ existence to feel this way.  I feel that when faced with imminent death a person knows what’s coming, good or bad.  I think some things that were hidden are revealed in those moments prior to dying when you know you’re going to die.

But, back to my question.   If you know that Jesus is your salvation, if you know that He has provided a free way out, then why fear dying.  Why fight to stay here?  Of course this line of questioning is rather specific to prison and the death penalty.  I don’t believe God is looking for anyone to just walk out into traffic just to make it back to Him.  He controls the timeline of each persons life, not me.

p.s. You can pray to Jesus today and ask him to forgive you for your sins and ask Him to come into your life and be your savior.  If you don’t know exactly how, then contact a Christian friend or call Christian church.  They can lead you.


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