In 1989, Sidney Holmes was convicted of a crime and sentenced to a 400-year prison sentence.
But after investigators reopened his case – it was determined Holmes was innocent, and after serving 34-years of his prison sentence – he was finally released.
And instead of feeling anger or hate towards those who stole his freedom from him – Holmes chooses to walk in forgiveness – and just wait until you hear his incredible story.
34 long years behind bars.
Missed birthdays, anniversaries, and hugs from loved ones.
Years without being able to taste freedom – or sleep in one’s bed.
So what caused such a brutal prison sentence?
He was convicted of driving two men who robbed a couple at gunpoint outside of a convenience store.
The entire time, Holmes insisted he was innocent – which prompted his case to be looked at again.
Upon reopening it – the evidence was clear – Holmes was sentenced to prison as an innocent man.
“Holmes’ own persistence about his innocence led to an investigation by the Broward State Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, which found he did have an alibi and that a shaky witness misidentified him and his car.
“Ultimately, all of us came to the same conclusion that this man was wrongfully convicted and this man should not have been in prison, and we needed to get him out right now,” said Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor.”
Holmes was exonerated and walked out of prison as a free man – after spending multiple decades behind bars.
He fell into the arms of his loving mother – through tears – the now 57 year old man and his family rejoice at the second chance Holmes has been given at life.
Even more incredible, Holmes credits his Christian faith in helping him forgive those who wrongly prosecuted him.
“What would mad do for me?” Holmes told WPLG-TV. “With the Christian faith I have, I can’t have hate. Just have to keep moving.”
And with that, the now-free man seemingly refuses to hold on to any rage or fury.”
What an amazing testimony to the power of forgiveness!
Jesus commands us to forgive those who have wronged us – and to love our enemies.
Of course without the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us this is impossible to achieve.
Praise the Lord for sustaining Holmes through the darkest days of his life and reuniting him with his loved ones.
And let this story serve as a convicting reminder to us all – if Holmes can forgive those who stole his freedom for 34 years – we should be able to forgive those who have wrong us.
Even more important – Christ has forgiven us of our sins – and loved as at our darkest. So we must follow in His example and forgive those who have wronged us too.
What are your thoughts on Holmes’s radical act of forgiveness?
Is there someone you need to forgive today?
You can post your answers to our Facebook page and join in the conversation with other believers from all around the world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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