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I Could Not Say It
by Mike Mattice
7/14/2007 / Testimonies
Although my autobiography is supposed to be humorous, I have a serious and important story to share. It's the true story of an event that changed me forever. In fact, my story is incomplete without it.
In the early Spring of 1982, I had been unable to walk for about six months. Five doctors offered five different diagnoses. I had nothing to do but read, eat, indulge deep depression, and watch tv.
My mother-in-law had given me a Christian book to read. I wasn't a Christian, but it was an interesting topic... endtime prophecy. It triggered my curiosity.
One day, I was watching a well-known televangelist speaking to a group of prison inmates. He delivered the most graphic and historically-accurate description of the trials, torture, and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. This made a strong impression on me.
That night, I slept and dreamed I was in the place of Jesus. I was beaten with a cat-of-nine-tails. My beard was pulled out by the handfuls. I was slapped and spit upon. Herod the king had a fine purple sheet draped over my bloody back in ridicule of my claims of kingship. He ordered large thorny spikes to be hammered into my skull, laughing that a king should have a crown. The governor, Pontius Pilate repeatedly questioned me. Refusing to see me for who I was, he asked me, "What is truth?" He then washed his hands publicly, not wanting to be personally involved in my execution, nor my acquittal. To try to pass off the decision of what to do with me , he brought me before the crowds. These same people who had welcomed me into Jerusalem as their King with shouts of "Hosanna!" just a few days before, now cried out for my crucifixion. When offered the choice, they demanded the liberation of a murderer over my release.
I was again beaten, and then made to carry the cross bar on my bloody shoulders through the crowded streets of Jerusalem. The jeering mob spit on me and threw stones at me. When I collapsed, unable to walk, the Roman executioners forced an African man to carry the cross bar for me, to the garbage dump outside the city, called Golgotha.
When the procession reached the hill shaped like a skull, the Romans threw me down across the cross. I felt the agony of large rusty nails pounded through my wrists and feet. When the cross was raised and dropped into it's base, my breath was jolted from my body. The nails tore my flesh and tendons with every movement.
I looked down at the mocking masses, shouting that my god was unable to save me. I hung naked, bleeding and dying. At my feet, the Roman executioners gambled for the purple sheet from Herod's palace.
I knew what I was supposed to say at that point.
But I could not say it. I was unable to love as Jesus did, praying for God's mercy upon his murderers and mockers. All I felt toward them in my dream was anger and hatred.
I awoke, recognizing Jesus' great love, even of me! I realized that I could have easily been at least one of the ridiculing mob. Yet, He prayed with some of His last breaths, for me!
At that moment, I believed Jesus is my Savior. And after I accepted Him into my life and heart, I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom!
I am 47, and live in Ravenna, Ohio USA. I am a writer, musician, Bible student and sometimes teacher. I am a parent and grandparent.
Part of my calling is to present, through writing and teaching, what the Lord teaches me.
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