If you’ve ever played the game Monopoly you are familiar with the phrase, “Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.” It’s an interesting concept to examine in light of scripture.
Basically it is a statement of condemnation implying that there is no other option, nothing you can do but take your punishment. Of course, there is never any mention as to what you DID to deserve to go to jail. Isn’t that the way the devil works every day? He often just throws out condemnation and never gives any specific reason, just that feeling of guilt, or that you will never measure up no matter how hard you try.
In the game of Monopoly there are several options for being released from jail once you are there. One is to keep rolling the dice, hoping to get the correct combination (doubles) to be allowed to return to the game. To continue the scriptural comparison, that would be like hoping that you will eventually say the right words, the right prayer to get God’s attention and somehow silence the enemy long enough to be set free. But in the game you only have three chances to get it right. After that your only option is to pay the $50 and go your merry way.
The second method to get released from jail is to just pay the $50 right away and not try to negotiate your release by other means (rolling the dice). Back to the scriptural comparison…that would be like doing penance or good works to get back into God’s favor and out from under the devil’s condemnation. You just pay your fine and continue on. But that’s not how God works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
The final method of release in Monopoly is found in the good fortune to be in possession of a “get out of jail free” card. If you happen to have one of these cards, you are released on your next turn, no questions asked. I’m sure you already see where this analogy is going.
Jesus has already paid for your release. You don’t have to wait until you find the right words to spring the lock and be allowed to go free. You don’t have to do a list of good deeds to pay for your release either. You just need to ask for forgiveness and you are given your freedom. And the really good news? Jesus has stacked the deck with “Get out of jail free” cards!
Imagine playing Monopoly with a limitless supply of “Get out of jail free” cards. Anytime the devil tries to say you are guilty and worthy of condemnation, you just need to hand him another card!
Galatians 5:1: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”