Standing right beside me on the accused bench of the Supreme Court of the World is a man who I’ve never met in my whole life. Not like I’ve met many people too. But this man, is a downright, conniving liar.
“Mr Man, are you sure of everything you have said?” The judge spoke from the bench with a shaky but yet high pitched voice denoting my dread for the judgement that is about to follow.
“I’m very sure my Lord” said the man standing beside me.
“You mean you’re ready to accept this criminal’s case file and let me acquit him?”
“I’m very ready my Lord”
Now just wait, there must be a little drama going on here. I’m the criminal (I’ve been called that name all my life) From lying to stealing to raping to cyber fraud and then killing, I’ve done all kinds of abominable acts and yet this man who looks like someone who can never hurt a fly let alone a human being take my blame. In case you don’t know, he’s going to be punished for my sins! Nope, somebody better call the director of this movie out from wherever he’s hiding.
“I hereby declare according to the laws of this land that Me Emmanuel has been found guilty of all the charges directed at Mr John which includes the killing of a prominent Chief in town after his intentional defraud and the forceful rape of his daughter. The court hereby sentence Mr Emmanuel to death by hanging”
The last word echoed loudly through the courtroom as the judge hit the gavel on the the wooden table indicating finality.
“Noooo!” I shouted out. “This is not real. I’m a sinner. The criminal! I killed the Chief, raped his daughter, stole money from several people! Not this man cooking up lies.”
“This man is now guilty of all your charges and you’ve therefore being acquitted and freed. It will be better you do so in peace and in the most tranquil way” The judge said fuming.
“What do you stand to gain?” I said turning to the man, disregarding what the judge has said. By now there was uproar in the whole court and the clerk’s effort to call into order was virtually wasted.
“Answer me! What the hell are you doing? Trying to become a hero? You’re on a mission to saving the world right? And see the so called judge believing your cock and bulls story. Didn’t he see my picture with a gun in my hand right in front of Chief’s house after my last operation? Didn’t he?” I said defiantly, letting out a sarcastic laugh.
“Quiet! Mr John. Let there be decorum now!” The judge flared up.
“No no no, I’m not done here. Remember the highway gentleman the news was talking about some years ago, the one that even the Inspector of Police was willing to grant a million naira to whoever finds him. I’m that guy! The gentleman on the highway and you want to let me go?”
“This man here claims to be him” This time, the clerk with my case file spoke, pointing at a side of the file in his hands. “His name covers yours now.”
“But I’m the highway gentleman! I did all that not him! Listen up man, What Do You Want From Me?!”
“I came that you may have life in abundance.” The man replied back with a smile on his face.
And in that moment, I could feel all my resistance going down. I’ve done nothing to deserve this kind of a favour from a total stranger.
“I don’t need your help man. I got myself into this and I must save myself”
“Maybe sometimes in you life you need to understand that there are some debts you can’t pay. Let me help you with this one” The man said.
“But I don’t know you from anywhere”
“You don’t need to. My Father knows you and He even loves you. He calls you his son
“My Father died years ago”
“Yes, he saw that happen and was so scared that you’d hurt yourself so he sent Josh your way.”
“Does he know what I did to Josh?”
“The part where you murdered him in cold blood right in his kitchen, because you thought he was going out with your girlfriend?”
I was apprehensive. How in the world did he know about Josh, nobody else knows. “I thought? They were really going out together. He cheated on me!”
“But that’s what you thought, he was only leading her right, showing her the way, the truth and the life. You just let your fierce anger becloud you.”
“Whatttt? My goodness! I don’t believe you. See why I don’t need help. I don’t!”
“Well you don’t need help actually, but I’m here to render it so you really do not have a choice.”
“I DO!” I said defiantly, storming my feet on the ground.
“So tell me, you fancy being hanged on that wood outside, with reporters and cameras everywhere, waiting to see the downfall of the World’s Mighty Criminal? Why don’t you just let me handle this?” The man had a mischievous grin on his face while talking.
“You talk like it will be easy for you to do”
“Exactly! I know but it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Just go back home and make things right with my Father.”
“How? How do I get to your father?”
“Whoever gets to the son gets to the Father.”
“You speak in parables young man”
“Aha! Thought you wouldn’t notice. You see the moment I take every of your sins upon me and get hung on that wooden cross, you’re free and free indeed. But your freedom won’t come just like that.”
“Okay?” My heart was beginning to flutter. Maybe there’s still a little hope and a chance at redemption. Maybe I could still see the light flickering at the end of my dark tunnel.
“Call on the name of Jesus and you shall be saved. Delivered. Redeemed. Made alive. You shall be made right with my Father instantly only when you call on the name of the son.
And when you get to my father, stand in his presence as though you have never sinned. You’ve been accepted by Him even before you were born.”
“Yes. My Dad. The same one who has now adopted you into the family.”
Uncontrollable tears rolled down my eyes as I watched how his face shone with so much light and love that in that moment, I wanted to experience.
“God… God.. God” I kept muttering.
And with that, the prison warden came and led him away to the place where his blood would atone for mine.
While writing this fiction, one song kept playing out in my head. It is a verse from Hillsong United “Grace To Grace”
…..If having my heart was worth the pain
What joy could you see beyond the grave?
If love found my soul worth dying for
My saviour’s scars victorious
My chains are gone
My debt is paid
From death to life
And grace to grace.
Tell me a better story than the redemption story and I’ll wait. Show a greater love than that which Christ showed and I’ll wait. Tell of the biggest sacrifice you’ve ever heard and I’ll tell you about Christ who died to save the whole world.
He gave us freedom that nothing, not our fleshly desires, not lust, not external validations, not humans, not money could give us. The freedom of being a Child of the most important being in the world. How awe-mazing!
His grace is available for all. His love runs deep, never drying out. And He’s calling you to himself today. He has paid your debt already just come and receive this abundant Life that I now enjoy. For He has made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
If you’re ready to turn everything over to God, I’ll love you to say this short prayer.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being a good good father. For sending Jesus and saving my soul. For loving me recklessly and dying on the cross just for me. I accept you into my life now Lord Jesus. I proclaim you as the living savior who died and now lives that I might live too. Renew me father and help me to grow in you. Amen.
Now do you know the wonderful news? The Father and His hosts of Angel are now rejoicing mightily, happy that you’ve finally decided to accept the Lord of Lords.
I am happy too! So happy because this is the biggest, wisest and most valuable decision you’ll ever make.
Live beloved live! ‘Cos it’s just as simple as that. I love you, always!