Steve Lee's Blog Posts

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The Master Locksmith
By 1920, Harry Houdini had gained a global reputation for escaping from handcuffs, chains and even the cells of Scotland Yard. Now he was offering cash to anyone who could restrain him. Master Locksmith, William Fenton was up for the challenge and dug out an old lock that had been made in 1750 by his great grandfather.

The ‘Fenton Lock’ is three-chambers, effectively three locks in one. The first chamber is protected by wards or projections around the inside of the keyhole. Only a key with the right pattern of slots can make it past the wards and onto the next chamber. In this chamber, the key moves straight through to the third, where it must be turned through a quarter turn and pulled back into the middle chamber. This holds another obstacle, a tumbler, a sort of lever that fits into a slot in the bolt. Only the right key will lift the lever just high enough to allow the lock to open. Fenton was confident that the old lock couldn't be opened by anything but the original master key.

Houdini thrived on challenges and he knew locks inside out. Whenever he came across a new device, he would buy two of them, one to dismantle and study and another to practise on. Offered something like the Fenton Lock, he was very cautious. The escapologist asked the locksmith permission to take it apart or at least take the back off. William Fenton turned down Harry Houdini's request and so the challenge was declined. The great man wouldn’t touch it, later describing it as the finest lock he had ever come across.

Jesus was all about opening locks also but for a very different reason. For those who were trapped behind locked doors of rejection, sickness and hopelessness he let them out and for others he seemed able and willing to unlock the riches of God’s love and provision. Here’s what the great preacher Charles Spurgeon said:

“Jesus Christ has the master key to all the chambers of God. There is no treasure house which will not open and yield its treasure to the person who lives for him”
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