CHIP K of thebandwithnoname continues his examination of one of the key factors of Christianity, the cross.
It's only when I'm truly sorry for the wrong stuff I've done that I'm truly thankful for the amazing thing Jesus has done - on the cross. That's why the Bible says stuff like, "Godly sorrow leads to real repentance," and, "Work out your salvation daily with fear and trembling." Now don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean we're supposed to go around all scared and depressed, it's just God's way of saying, "Oi! Don't forget what I saved you from!" He knows that our lives can be so much more enjoyable when we're seriously indebted to him. Here's a short story, which illustrates my point exactly:
Frankie was on the run. The last he'd heard, the mafia had a price on his head of two-and-a-half million, and he'd managed to climb to number four on the FBI's most-wanted list. Frankie had never murdered anyone or hijacked a plane or anything like that. His problem was a much more subtle one - money.
In just six years Frankie had gone from maxing out credit cards, to taking massive loans by forging false documents, to gambling with the Mob, to embezzling funds from the federal government. He knew his time was running out and unless he could miraculously come up with 17.4 million dollars to pay off his ruthless debtors, it was just a matter of days until he'd meet his end in some dark alley. With no home, no family and no friends he could trust, Frankie had some strange sense that actually he deserved death. His guilt felt almost as heavy as his debts. How could he have allowed himself to fall so far into this never-ending black hole?
Frankie's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a ringing payphone just next to where he was sitting. "Brrrrrring!" It shook him back into the reality of his dire surroundings, an old dilapidated bus station on the outskirts of town. "Brrrrrring!" Who in the world would be calling a vacant payphone at 1.30 in the morning? "Brrrrrring!" The only other people in the station were two old drunken tramps and a half-asleep bus driver at the other end of terminal four. Frankie reached for the phone.
"Is this Frankie Visetti?"
"How did you - Who is this?"
"This is Ivan Kaasar from the Swiss National Bank. It appears that someone has credited your account with 18 million dollars, and left us this number to inform you of their deposit. Have a nice day." (click)
At first, Frankie thought it must be some sort of sick joke. Then he thought it must be a clever trap, set-up by the FBI to bring him out of hiding. But as the days passed, the realisation sank in. The news was spreading faster than Frankie could run. His debts had all been paid for by a complete stranger, and now he was a free man.
"With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.'" Luke 24:47
The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
Chip was born in Florida, raised in Jerusalem, Israel and currently resides in Stockport, England with his wife and two kids. www.chipkendall.com
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