After a strong emancipation movement among blacks, slavery was abolished in Jamaica in 1838, to take effect from 1st August. On the evening of the last day of July a large company of former slaves gathered for a solemn yet joyous occasion.
A large mahogany coffin had been constructed. All evening, the soon-to-be emancipated slaves placed, with much ceremony, all the symbols of their enslavement in the coffin – chains, leg irons, whips, padlocks etc.
A few minutes before midnight the filled coffin was lowered into the prepared hole, and at midnight they all threw dirt in to fill the hole, singing praises to God for their liberty. It was a night of thankfulness and celebration.
They possibly went back to that spot to celebrate their freedom, but NEVER did they try to resurrect those symbols of their enslavement. NEVER did they yearn for the former life! NEVER did they regret their new freedom or try to merge the two lives. Their former life as slaves was GONE – COMPLETELY GONE – NEVER to enslave them again.
If we are “crucified with Christ” Romans 6:6. Galatians 2:20 our old sinful nature no longer has dominion over us. We are free from slavery to sin. We have a new spiritual nature which is guided by the Holy Spirit. We have God’s power within us to enable us to resist temptation.
Unlike those Jamaican slaves, we tend to return to the burial plot and dig up the elements of our sinful nature and allow them to again ensnare us.
We need to bury our old sinful nature just as those Jamaican slaves buried their tangible evidences of slavedom – with joyfulness and thankfulness and NO DESIRE whatsoever to be connected with them again in the future. Our old sinful nature should be dead and buried: never to be raised again.
To Thee, thou dying Lamb, I all things owe:
All that I have and am; and all I know.
All that I have is now no longer mine,
And I am not mine own: Lord, I am Thine!
Take Thou my love, and consecrate it;
Burn out the dross and make it all Thine own!
Save me from self and all of earth’s ambitions
Until self has dies, and THOU dost reign alone!