A newspaper headline really caught my eye the other day. It was an Associated Press article titled: “Man who admitted slaying after seeing ‘Passion’ jailed”. Evidently, a 21 year old man in Texas strangled his pregnant girlfriend. After seeing The Passion of the Christ he felt convicted to confess the crime and take the consequences. Those consequences were just doled out to him to the tune of a 75 year prison term. He must serve half the term to be eligible for parole so he will be at least 58 years old before possible release.
What an expensive confession that was! Something in that movie had such a profound affect on Dan Leach II that he is forfeiting his whole adulthood because of it. He will not marry, have children, vote, plan vacations, take up golf, go to music festivals, climb any corporate ladder or do any of hundreds of other activities pursued by normal adults who are free in society.
You might say: well neither will the woman he killed. She cannot be brought back to life and she missed her whole adulthood too. You might say this is a just sentence for murder. Yes, maybe this is a just sentence but what strikes me is that he could have avoided it – he chose to confess and take the consequences. Would you do the same if you were in his shoes?
Isn’t it unusual for someone to “‘fess up” and take their medicine? Such things do not usually happen without a profound encounter with someone or something that produces a fundamental heart change. I have no personal knowledge of this man but it appears that he must have met Jesus Christ through this film. Now he will have to pursue a different kind of freedom for the remainder of his lifetime. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Here’s the audio version: