Ruben Ramirez of Yakima Washington wanted life in prison. To his disappointment he was only sentenced to 8½ years. Perhaps you saw his story in the newspaper. Ramirez told people he robbed the bank, not for money but to activate the state's "three strikes" law. Ramirez had been going through hard times; he was broke, out of work and without family. He did not have a gun and actually invited the teller to trip the alarm. Due to a technicality, his robbery did not trigger the "three strikes law." It is difficult for us to imagine that anyone would want to be in prison for life. Yet, we see that many people choose to remain is a spiritual prison when they can be free in Christ.



J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.