BackDoor Bible Series
The Terminator from Tarsus
To help us understand just who Jesus is and that He can change our hearts and use even the worst of us.
Acts 9; Acts 22; John 3:16; Col.1:15-18; 1 Cor 8:6; 2 Cor. 3:11-14
An interview with Saul just after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Host: Tonight we are going to visit with the man who wrote most of the New Testament. Interestingly enough he was a New Testament writer who was not a disciple of Jesus. His name was originally Saul, but was changed to Paul. Tonight we are going to meet with him very close to the time when he became a Christian. Let's open God's Word, the best time machine there is to Acts chapter 9 verse 1.
(Host drops finger in Acts 9:1 and time machine starts up)
Saul: (on entry) Hey, what's happening?! Guys, this is not funny! You have been horsing around with me for three days now because you know I can't see you. (pause) Jonas! Phineas! Cut it out!
Host: (Host does not expect Paul to be dressed like he his and acts astonished)
Paul, is that you?
Saul: Paul, who's Paul? My name is Saul, Saul of Tarsus. I don't recognize your voice. Who are you?
Host: Saul, oh yeah. I'm sorry, I guess we picked you up a little earlier in time than I thought. Well anyway, welcome to the future. This is the Wednesday Night Live show and the year is 2000 AD. We've brought you here using a time machine to talk with you. Would you mind answering a few questions for us?
Saul: Well O.K., but I'm waiting for my dinner. I haven't eaten all day. (Saul looks around acting like he is trying to see) Jonas! Phineas! Where are you?! Is my dinner ready yet?!
Host: I don't think they can hear you. Who are Jonas and Phineas anyway?
Saul: (Talking back over his shoulder) Oh, they're just a couple of so called "friends", who are supposed to be making my dinner!
Host: Hmmm, I see. Well, come on over here and sit down and let's get to know you better.
Saul: Sure, but give me a hand, I haven't been able to see very well lately.
(Host helps blind Saul to a seat on the couch)
Host: So Saul, I understand you've been hunting and killing Christians. Is that true?
Saul: Oh, I see you heard about that. Hmmm (pause). Well yes, that's my job these days. See, (Saul holds up documents) the High Priest has given me warrants for people who follow the teachings of Jesus and I track them down and terminate them. They even gave me a nickname. They call me the Terminator from Tarsus. Ha Ha.
Host: A terminator? I thought you were a Pharisee and a great Bible teacher. How did you become a terminator?
Saul: Well, yes, for most of my adult life I was a teacher of the Books of Moses. You know, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus. I was one of the most knowledgeable teachers. But when this man Jesus started such an uproar, the Chief Priest assigned all teachers who were over 6 feet tall to be terminators.
Host: Oh, I see. Say you mentioned that you are not seeing very well. Is that why you are wearing dark glasses? What happened to your eyes?
Well that's what I have been trying to figure out for the last three days. Several days ago I was on my way to Damascus with two other terminators, Jonas and Phineas. We had heard there were a group of Jesus freaks there hiding out so, we were on our way to terminate them.
While we were walking along the road, suddenly a really bright light from the sky hit me. It knocked me down and blinded me. Then I heard a voice calling my name from heaven saying, "Saul, Saul ". Now, I figured this must be God or an angel or something calling so, I said, "Lord, who are you?".
(Saul pauses and become reflective)
And for the last three days I have been thinking about the answer. You see, the voice answered, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."
As you can imagine, I have been in shock ever since. I have just found out that Jesus, the man we crucified was not just a man, but was God's only son the promised Savior and Messiah. You know once I realized this, I remembered all the references in the Scriptures to the coming Savior and now I can see that Jesus fit all the predictions.
In Genesis, He was there with God giving life to the world. In Psalms, He was the King to come that my ancestor David wrote about. In Job, He was the Redeemer Job hoped would allow him to stand before God.
Man! Oh, how I have been so blind. I should have seen it. It's pointed to in every book of Scripture and I, one of most knowledgeable scholars, never saw it. I never realized that the Savior would have to die in order to save us.
We wanted to be saved from the Romans, but now I realize that it is not the Romans we need to be saved from. We need to be saved from God's wrath because of our sin.
I also never realized that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the very essence of God Himself. I guess I missed the main thing. (Saul hangs his head and drops to his knees)
Scripture Reader 1: Reads Col. 1:15-20
Saul: Ha, its funny. Now that I cannot see, I realize that I have been truly blind my whole life. Now that I know the truth, I can see that I am pitiful, poor, blind and naked before God. For I have done the worst things a man could do, even murder Jesus' followers. (pause ..continue with quiet voice) And the worst part is, that now I have done it, I am standing in front of God and I have nowhere to hide. (Saul begins to cry) I wonder, can Jesus forgive even me? Does anyone know?
Scripture Reader 2: Reads John 3:16-18
Saul: I hope so. I hope you are right. I hope, you are right. Now Mr. Host, please I must go. Jesus told me to go and wait for a man named Ananias. Maybe he will help me. Please send me back to my time now so I won't miss him.
Host: Sure Paul, come over here (Host sends Saul back into the time machine)
Do you really grasp who Jesus is? Do you understand that recognition of who Jesus is it at the very core of life itself. Jesus is not the Father and by his own words submits to the Father, yet Jesus is the Lord and He is fully God. He is the 2nd person of the Trinity, the part of God that became less for a time in order to redeem us as well as all creation for Himself. And because of this, He has been elevated to the highest place.
Further do you understand that for us, access to anything of God, including eternal life, protection, or even blessings, these all come through the person of Jesus Christ . The Father has stated the way for us to approach him, an it is through Jesus. So if we stand looking up toward God, if we look to the right or to left of Jesus to find God what we will find is nothing.
Saul who you just met had his name changed by God to Paul. He went on to write a letter known as 1 Corinthians. In it he writes;
.. yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. 1 Cor 8:6 (NIV)
Do you seek God and the things of God, yet relegate Jesus to being something less. Perhaps for you, Jesus is just a piece of the gospel, someone less than God who contributed to your future? If this is true, please reconsider. Paul worried about this when he wrote his second letter to the Corinthians. He wrote;
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor 11:3 (NIV)
Please! Do not ignore who Jesus is. He is the main thing!
Suggested Closing Song :Awesome God