Pottsville Pennsylvania has an ominous jail, the Schuykill County Jail. The stones are fabulous. The building is truly gorgeous, except for the fact that it is a jail. The occupants, I’m sure, don’t get to appreciate the beauty of this old structure. It was erected in 1876. It was here that the “Molly Mcguires” were hung in 1877 and 1879. And as you can tell by the last two photographs, they really don’t want the occupants to escape.
The Schuykill County Courthouse, across the street, is equally impressive. It was built in 1889. Both of these structures are on hills which gives a more intimidating look than they would have on flat terra firma.
We all have mixed feelings about jails, law, and executions. But I can’t help but think how prison reminds us of our true condition. We yearn to be free from sin, to be good, and most of the time we convince ourselves we are. But it is a delusion. There is no one good but God. All the motivational speakers and phony religionists in the world will never make sinful people good.
We are all in prison.
The old Lutherans, the ones that actually believed the Scriptures as opposed to our current crop of whatever they are, used to call this life “a veil of tears”. That’s what sin does to us.
But God in His great mercy pays our debt to Him, by Himself, through His death on the cross, and sets us free from eternal condemnation.
One day the resurrection comes, the tears will be wiped away, and the prisoners will be welcomed home.