I Know a Guy

I have a feeling that if I hadn’t grown up in the Bible Belt, going to church every Sunday, learning Bible verses and influenced by the faith of my forefathers, I would be questioning God’s existence and work in the world constantly. I’ll admit I know so very little about faith; even though I embrace it, I don’t fully understand it. How does it work? How do I know it’s enough to get me into heaven? And what about heaven? Is it real? Have I done anything to deserve it? This list could go on forever.

One of my favorite speakers is Scottish theologian and pastor Alistair Begg. I love the way he explains biblical truths and it doesn’t hurt that he’s got this easy-listening Scottish brogue. He tells a story—hypothetical of course—about the thief on the cross who asked Jesus who was also being crucified, “‘Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!’  And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23)

Alistair creates the scenario of when that thief actually gets to heaven.  

THE ANGEL: (to the thief) What are you doing here?

THIEF: (to the angel) Well, I don’t know.

ANGEL: What do you mean, you don’t know?

THIEF: I don’t know.

ANGEL: (looking frustrated) Excuse me. Let me get my supervisor.

(This angel goes to get the supervisor angel.)

SUPERVISOR ANGEL: So, we’ve just a few questions for you. First of all, are you clear on the doctrine of justification by faith?

THIEF:  I’ve never heard of it in my life.

SUPERVISOR ANGEL: Let’s just go to the inerrancy of the Scripture. What do you think about that?

(The thief shrugs and shakes his head)

SUPERVISOR ANGEL: (finally) So…on what basis are you here?

THIEF: (after a pause and a sigh) The Man on the middle cross hanging next to me said I can come.

I can speak Christian-eze as good as the next person. I can even quote scripture from the King James version. But when it comes to understanding and explaining why a Man who died on a cross over 2,000 years ago could get me into heaven and make my life complete, I’m speechless. I don’t know how it works; I just know that it does. I study about God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, but I still don’t know how it all works. I have to go back to the story of the thief. I don’t know. I’ll just have to say, “I know a Guy and He said I could come.”

From Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.”

4 thoughts on “I Know a Guy

  1. Larry Wren

    Love this story, Nan! I’d heard the shorter version a few weeks ago in a sermon (“the man on the middle cross sent me”) and it really stuck with me. It seems like we make faith so complicated and have a hard time just accepting, even when we don’t have it figured out. Left to my own designs, I’m always trying to figure it all out. I have to regularly remind myself to trust and surrender.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *