I can still hear that shrill voice as it crackled over the intercom system, “Would the following please report to the principal’s office, …” Every eye in class was on me and I could hear several snickers and sputters as I found my way to the door and down the hall.
Upon arriving at the principal’s office, I was told to report to the office of the district superintendent. I didn’t have a clue as to what it was all about, and neither did the principal. To ease my tension, she suggested that maybe I had written the winning essay on “Why I Love the American Flag” that we had all entered the month before. That made sense to me. Why else would I be here? I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. All the time I was growing up I was very close to my parents and would never think of doing anything bad because I didn’t want to hurt them. Every time we went somewhere their friends would always compliment them on what a fine young boy I was: quiet, helpful, cheerful and obedient. So, why else would I be heading down the stairs for the superintendent’s office, other that to collect my award and have my picture taken for the school newspaper with the superintendent congratulating me with a hearty handshake, or so I thought.
Instead, the events which occurred in the next fifteen minutes would affect my life for the next five years. Someone had wrongly accused me of being with a group of boys who had vandalized a teacher’s car. I couldn’t believe it. When I denied it, the superintendent flew into a rage. At the end of his tirade he suspended me from school for three days. As I left his office, resentment and hatred welled up inside of me.
‘How could they accuse me of something I didn’t do?’
My golden reputation changed. I began to lose interest in school or in being that nice kid that everyone talked about. All I wanted was to be bad. It wasn’t hard to do. I started a rock band and became the first person in our community to use drugs. At fifteen, I was faced with a felony charge in juvenile court. One week after court, I was back to my old routine. I barely made it through my junior year because of drugs, but I didn’t care. Any care and concern I’d had for others vanished when I was falsely accused in the superintendent office.
Then one summer night after my senior year I met a Man who also had been falsely accused and was subjected to a horrendous punishment He didn’t deserve. Yet I saw that His reaction was totally opposite of mine. He loved His accusers and prayed, “Father, forgive them.” I realized that even I had falsely accused Him and had rejected Him throughout my entire life. He suffered the cruelest death on the cross, not for something He had done, but for something I had done. And not for my sins only, but for the sins of the whole world.
That night I opened to Jesus and asked Him to come into me. I was skeptical at first, but I was willing to give Him a try. Fireworks didn’t go off but I realized something was happening to me. Love and peace began to spring up and wash the hatred and turmoil away. Forgiveness began to replace the bitterness I felt within. I was relieved. I knew Jesus was real. After all these years, Jesus is still real to me. He is not a religion. In fact, when He was on earth, He was opposed to religion. It was even the religious people who put Him to death.
Jesus Christ is a real and wonderful Person. He wants to fill you with Himself. Are you willing to give Him a try?
Lord Jesus, I open to You right now to receive You as my Lord and Savior. I confess I am a sinner, but I believe You died on the cross and shed Your blood to cleanse me.