I've done my Bible reading, and I've come up with a pretty startling conclusion about Jesus: That guy was a total sap!
In Acts 10:43, Peter says, "To Him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name." In short, if you believe in Jesus and invoke His forgiveness, you'll be forgiven for whatever you do. What a sucker! That's exactly the kind of loophole I'm looking for!
Look, I never asked Jesus for eternal forgiveness. But if He's naïve enough to bestow it upon me and trust that I'm not going to take advantage, I'm certainly not going to turn Him down.
Last winter, I was driving around a little drunk. (The Rams had just made it into the playoffs, so who wouldn't be?) Anyway, I crashed into a parked car and really tore the hell out of the front fender. Nice car, too, a Lexus IS 300 Sport Sedan, the kind of car I wouldn't be able to afford if I ate nothing but shit and gravy for the next 15 years. I was starting to freak out because I didn't have insurance. Then I remembered Jesus' unending reserve of benevolence. I also recalled something from The Bible about a rich man not getting through the eye of a camel or some mumbo-jumbo. So I figured that not only would Jesus forgive me, He'd probably have wanted me to hit that car. I sped away with a dented fender and a sense of fulfillment for doing God's work.
I mean, there's an awful lot of talk about sin in the Bible, but it always comes back to the same thing: You can commit just about any sin under the sun and still get into heaven, so long as you let Jesus into your life. I figure I'm not actively keeping Him out, so He's with me all the time. What would Jesus do? Well, He probably wouldn't have fucked the first-runner-up for Miss Teen Missouri, but He sure forgave me when I did it.
Heck, there was that time I held up the liquor store and shot a guy, and I felt really bad about it. I'd never shot anyone before, and I thought, "Geez, what if he had a family?" I was holed up in a hotel room with a bottle of whiskey and was really close to turning myself in. But then I found the Gideon's Bible in the nightstand drawer. After going through some of the better passages, I figured the man I gut-shot wasn't fit to stand in judgment of me. As far as Jesus was concerned, I was free and clear. So I didn't turn myself in, the guy lived, and everyone was happy. Thanks, Jesus... ya big rube!
People tell me I'm a terrible person. I tell them, "Hey, I'm okay with Jesus, so I should be okay with you." Like The Bible says in Luke 6:37, "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven." Why can't the Missouri Criminal Code be like that? The state of Missouri doesn't judge me, and I don't judge the state of Missouri. That's the way I like it. If Jesus wants to forgive people, who am I to argue? More importantly, who am I not to take advantage of that?
Sometimes, in my darkest hours, I imagine that Jesus is carrying me. When I was on my eight-day speed/armed-robbery binge, I could actually feel Him pick me up in his arms and carry me away from the vomit-soaked apartment. He even stopped so I could throw away the gun. Jesus is a friend, a partner, and an accomplice.
Lord, you may be a sucker, but you're a sucker for all the right reasons. Thank you, Jesus!