I’ve come simply to tell you what I’ve seen and heard, what I know to be true.
Surely Jesus Christ is Lord, He is the Son of God, and He is the King over all.
Some time back, we walked with Him and heard Him speak. He told of His coming Kingdom when He would rule over all the earth. We heard Him, but I’m not sure we really believed Him, at least not at that time.
One night, we were all in the garden of Gethsemane, and He went off to pray; I went with Him, but I kept falling asleep. He continued to pray, and I continued to fall asleep. As I look back on that time, I feel so ashamed. Why couldn’t I just have stayed awake for a few hours to pray with Him!?
Finally, He woke me and said, ‘It’s time.’ I said, ‘Time for what… what do you mean?’
Suddenly, I saw Judas with some soldiers; he pointed and said, ‘He’s the one you want!’ The soldiers grabbed me, and I cried out, ‘Jesus! Help; save me!’ Jesus said, ‘Let him go… I’m the One you want.’
They took Jesus and led Him back to the Chief Priests; He held my hand as we walked. I was so afraid!
They accused me, but He stood in front of me; they tried to strike me, but He stood in front of me and took each blow on His own cheeks. They tried to spit on me, but He moved in front to take each one on Himself. I cried out, ‘I’m the one you want! I’m the guilty one!’ But it was as if they couldn’t even hear me.
Pilate asked Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ He simply answered, ‘It is as you say.’ The people all cried out as one, ‘Crucify Him; crucify Him!’ Pilate asked, ‘What has He done? I will release to you the man of your choice; whom shall I set free?’ The people all cried out, ‘Release Tom! Set him free, but crucify Jesus in his place!’
They threw me out of the palace and into the crowd; they patted my back and said, ‘You’re the one to be set free; you’re like us, you’re one of us!’
‘Jesus,’ I cried! ‘No! I’m the one they want, not You! I’m the sinner!’ I lay there weeping in shame…. ‘I’m the one you want! I’m so guilty… I’m so lost… Oh Jesus, Jesus, save me…’
I ran to Him as they led Him out to the yard; they wove together a crown of horrible, wicked-looking thorns; they tried to put it on my head, but He moved me aside as they shoved it down into the flesh of His head.
They began to beat Him and beat Him! Every blow was meant for me, and He stood in front of me so that every blow rained down on Him! They whipped Him over and over and over again; they tore open His back as they ripped it to shreds… over and over and over; they flayed Him to the point that I couldn’t even recognize Him; He was so covered in blood, every inch of His flesh torn open. ‘Oh Jesus, Jesus, why would you do this for me! I am so guilty! I’m the one who is such a wicked sinner! It should have been me!’
They led us up the hill to the place called Golgotha; I tried to carry our cross, but it was so heavy. They grabbed a man called Simon, who carried that cross all the way up to the place of the skull where there were 2 other crosses also ready to be set into the holes they had dug.
They beat Him more, and they gambled for His cloak; they mocked him and beat Him even more.
They grabbed me and began to nail me to one of the crosses; they began to pound spikes down through my hands, but He laid down and put His own hands and feet in the place to be spiked, and they nailed Him to the cross instead. He said, ‘Tom, you’re being crucified with me, but I am here to take all your punishment on Myself; I am here to die in your place.’
They raised the crosses up and dropped them into the holes with horrible thuds! It so ripped with pain in His hands and feet. There were also two guilty sinners on the other two crosses. One of them mocked us, hanging there naked, but the other one said, ‘Lord, remember me when you come into Your Kingdom.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Believe Me when I tell you that this very day, you will be with Me in Paradise.’ I cried out, ‘Lord, what about me… can’t I come with you to Paradise today?’
I fell down off the cross; I laid there weeping as His blood dripped down and covered me. One of the guards took a spear and thrust it into His side; water and blood flowed out; it rained down upon me and washed me; for the first time ever, I felt clean. I no longer felt dirty, filthy, a wicked sinner; I was clean, forgiven; I felt like a new person… I can’t explain it better than that; I was free!
It became dark; there was a great earthquake.
They took His body down and gently, reverently prepared It for burial, placing us in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea; the soldiers rolled a great stone across the opening. I was so afraid in the darkness, but on the third day, there was a great light. The stone was rolled away, and I came out as if back from the dead. I had been crucified with Him; I died with Him, and I was raised to newness of life with Him. He gave me His life, Eternal Life; I will live forever.
I begged to go with Him to Heaven, but He said,
‘No, Tom; your time is not yet. Go, tell what you’ve seen, heard and experienced. Go into all the world and preach the Gospel; teach them and make disciples, and I will be with you until the end of the Age!
I will come again and receive you unto Myself. I am going back to My Father’s House to prepare a place for you, but I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there you may be also to be with Me forever.
Take heed, take heart; I am the One Who is at work within you to will and to work for My good pleasure. I am the One Who has begun My good work in you, and I will continue to form you into My Image more and more each day so that you better and better reflect Me in all that you do.
In the world, you will have tribulation, but I have overcome the world, and you will walk in victory, in Me.
Watch for Me and wait for Me every moment of every day; and one day soon, you will hear My call and the sound of My trumpet, and I will raise you up and change your body into a glorious eternal body just like My Own.
I am, even now, preparing you for the ministry you are to enter as soon as I return with you accompanying Me on a great white horse. I will take My rightful place as King of kings and Lord of lords. My Kingdom shall last and enlarge forever as you rule and reign with Me – first, for a thousand years and then forever.
Be strong and of good courage; do not tremble or be dismayed, for I am the Lord your God, and I will be with you wherever you go.’
I am telling you this because it is true. I was there; I saw it and heard it. He gave me Eternal Life, and He offers it to you, even now. Take it; receive His free gift of Eternal Life. Believe on Him, that His finished work on the Cross was sufficient to pay the penalty for all your sin. He will forgive you and cleanse you of every sin. Believe Him and receive Him now before it’s too late for you.