“Jesus, remember me” ~Luke 23:42
Jake and Scott found a booth, ordered coffee and a danish. It was their regular Monday, Wednesday routine. They shared classes on those days and became friends. They got great stimulation from discussing the lectures together. Sometimes their thoughts lined up but sometimes not, as was the case this day.
“What did you think of today’s lecture, Jake? I was surprised by his bald-faced, simple statement of faith in God. How could a guy so smart fall for that childish stuff?”
“I’d say it was a pretty deep faith for him to sort of preach to us today. By the way, he said his faith was in Christ.”
Taking a bite of his danish, Scott was obviously pondering. Then he said, “What’s the difference? And how do you have faith in someone who died like many other criminals thousands of years ago. Seems to me Jesus was just another misguided Jew looking for a following or just fighting against the Pharisees and the Roman government.”
“What do you think of Buddah, Scott? We both know some people who read about and try to follow his teachings and yet you don’t come against their faith as you are with those who profess faith in Christ.”
“Yeah, good point,” said Scott. “Except the Buddah was not executed as a criminal…was he?”
“No, I read once that he died of food poisoning when he was about 80. But back to Jesus. Not only did He bring lots of chaos and problems among the Jewish religious leaders, He claimed to be the Son of God, the Savior and Messiah.”
“Well, I heard that He was a prophet and a pretty good teacher so that’s good.”
Working on their second coffee, the men continued to discuss Jesus and who He really was. Or, as the professor said, “Jesus is still alive, sitting at the right hand of the Father!”
Finally Jake said, “Listen, Scott. I am a Christian and I believe in a living Savior, Jesus who died and was resurrected on the third day. Why don’t you open your phone to this Bible app and let’s read some verses so you can better understand what we’re talking about.”
1 Corinthians 2:1-2
“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.” NLT
“Who was speaking here?” said Scott.
“That was the Apostle Paul who was a member of the Jewish religious leaders until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. We can talk more about that later. Just know that Paul’s transformation was a big deal since he had been arresting and killing followers of Christ.”
“Wow. What a difference.”
“Only God could make that sort of change,” said Jake. But let’s read more.”
“But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past.” NLT
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” NLT
“Scott, faith in Christ is simple, but also challenging. Let’s read a couple of verses in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus makes a promise to one of the criminals beside Him: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus replied, I assure you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:42-43 NLT
Jake said no more. They sipped their coffee. Scott was considering what he’d just learned and how it applied to him. “I have a sense this kind of decision to follow Christ would be a life-changer!”
“Sure would. Without bowing our heads or anything, let me pray with you, Scott. Just a simple prayer. Who knows, Life as you know it may be changing soon.” They prayed.