At the End of the Road (An Imaginary Journey)
Two men were walking on a Roman road pondering the fate of Christians.
"They are a crazy lot don't you think, willing to die for a crucified man who died on the stake fifty years ago."
An old man joins them and listens to their conversation. They are quite oblivious to his presence
"They say he rose from the dead."
"Go on! After fifty years who is going to believe. It's all claptrap I say."
The old man spoke quietly. "Have you ever met a Christian?"
"No," they both answered cheerfully.
"We are pagans and proud Romans."
Then said the stranger, "Why are you so concerned?"
"We just wondered why they would die for such a useless cause ?"
"Well I am a Christian and there is a wonderful reason why Christ died and another wonderful reason why he rose from the dead.
They came to a shady spot where they all sat down for lunch. The Stranger brought out a loaf of bread and began to divide it with his fingers.
"See this bread I am breaking. Imagine that it represents Jesus Christ's body. We need bread to survive and live and in a spiritual sense we need Jesus in our lives to live spiritually.
Every Christian sees this bread as a reminder of Jesus> sinless body and when we eat we are reminded that he is our Saviour. We share this bread and recognise how all Christians are united in purpose. Together we seek to share the promises God made concerning His Kingdom on Earth. "
"But you already have a Roman kingdom. You have Caesar is that not enough?"
"Caesar will die." said the stranger. " My Lord is in Heaven and gives me power."
He opened a bottle of wine and the men's eyes lit up.
"Share with me" the stranger said as he offered them a swig.
"Nice wine" they said.
"Well, here is the other side of the story. Jesus shared wine with his disciples on the same night as he was betrayed by his close friend Judas." The stranger went on. "Jesus said, `This is my blood that is shed for many'. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."
"Oh I see." Said one of the Romans, Christians don't get eaten by lions just for the fun of it then?"
"No, they would willingly die for Jesus."
"Because he offers them life eternal. He was resurrected and so will they be raised at the last day when he returns to set up God's Kingdom on earth."
The men were amazed and said, "Caesar doesn't look so good now. He's always fighting and putting up taxes. May be the kingdom you mention just might be the one to find."
The old man began to tell them stories from the deep recesses of his mind, how that Jesus was spoken of thousands of year previously by a man called Moses and by Hebrew prophets and everything they said had come to pass. He first came to the attention of the people when he was thirty years old and in just three years had convinced many that he was the Messiah - or in our language, Christ. For three years he performed many wondrous miracles and told many parables about a coming kingdom. They expected him to overthrow the Romans and reclaim a Jewish Kingdom but this did not happen. They got him on some trumped up charges of blasphemy and sedition and arranged for the Romans to do their dirty work and crucify him.
"We heard that this was the case," the men said. "So what's the big deal here?"
"That might have been the end but this man Jesus rose from the dead." and my father was one who actually saw him and touched his side and his hands where the nails pierced him on the stake"
"Your father actually saw him after he had risen from the dead?"
"He did and that's not all." The old man continued and told how his father was standing at the foot of the Mount of Olives when Jesus ascended into Heaven leaving two angels to explain that the same Jesus they had seen go into Heaven would return the same way as they had seen him go up.
"This belief is what gives Christians the courage to face any trials that the Romans can bring upon them."
They looked at the stranger with great amazement. "Where can we find out more?" The old man told him about a man called Timothy who lived at the end of the road.
"God be with you. "
Sis. Audrey Christopherson (Port Augusta, Australia)