When Christ died He left a will in which He gave His soul to His father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His cloths to the soldiers and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better—His peace.
A few years ago, I was approached by a father (whom I will call John) who had been accused of the brutal murder of his son. With emotions that ran from anger and deep sorrow to hope, John told me his story.
John and his wife were immigrants and, in his country of origin, he had been a school teacher. They were Christians and were involved in a local church where his wife volunteered as a Spanish teacher. Their son and daughter were also involved in the church and each of them was looking forward to summer mission trips.
One evening his wife came downstairs to find the body of their adult son lying in a pool of blood just inside the door of their home. His wife screamed for him, and John ran downstairs and called 911. Their son, a student at a local Christian university, had been stabbed to death.
The police took John to their headquarters where he was questioned. They told him that he had killed his son in a fit of rage but, due to his limited English, he found it difficult to understand what they were saying. John said that after many hours of exhausting interrogation, he was tricked into confessing that he had killed his son.
For two years John sat in prison awaiting his trial. For two years he described how he battled grief and despair and how he and his family relied on their faith to bring them peace.
At his trial, John listened as prosecutors described how he had supposedly murdered his only son. They described him as a father who was filled with so much hatred that he had stabbed his beloved son to death in his own home. They played his confession as proof of his guilt. His trial lasted 13 days. The jury found him “not guilty” in less than two hours.
Listening to his story, I was shocked by how much John and his family had endured. My heart grieved with him as he told his story and, after so much suffering, he still has to live with the fact that his son’s murder has never been solved. "I believe," he said with confidence, "that God will see justice is served."
John and his family still go to church, they still worship God, and although their struggles are daily, they still seek and receive the gift of peace that only comes through the Holy Spirit and through Christ.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Questions for reflection and discussion: What emotional storm is raging in your life that you need to calm by seeking the peace of Christ?
The devotionals this week were written by Scott Young, Scott holds a master's degree in communications from Wheaton College and is involved in WBC's local outreach ministries. Scott and his wife, Nancy, have been members of WBC for more than 20 years.