A short time later I went with a friend to an Oasis morning (this includes a quiet time of prayer or bible reading) at Crowe Methadist Church.
It was a beautiful day and I sat outside. I opened my bible and started to read from Romans 8:28.N.I.V. I read to the end of the chapter, then re read it, but I didn't understand it. I looked up, and on a telegraph pole to my left a weed was growing, but to me it looked like a vine. It reminded me of John 15:5 N.I.V. "I am the vine you are the branches.... I decided to look that up and read from there.
I read all chapters 15 & 16 then I felt as if someone was saying "Go back and read it from chapter 14"
This time it was completely different. I felt as if I was with Jesus and his disciples in fact one of the disciples and he was talking to me. In these chapters Jesus is preparing his disciples for his death and resurrection. He was telling them not to worry, to trust in God, and to trust him. That he was going away to prepare a place for them, but that he would come back and take them there himself. He also said that they knew the way to where he was going.
Thomas said to him "Lord we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:5 NIV
As I sat listening to Jesus talking he said "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command" John 15:12 N.I.V. Then a little further down he said "You did not choose me, but I chose you....
Jesus chose me ? He laid down his life for me ?
The more I read the more apprehension I felt. Although he was saying he was coming back I could feel with the disciples the fear and loss of knowing that he was going away. As Jesus prayed for his disciples in chapter 17 I knew he was praying for me also, I was overcome with grief. As I started chapter 18, I couldn't read anymore. I knew what was going to happen and I couldn't face him being taken from me, I didn't want him to die.
I closed the bible, but to my amazement I could still feel his presence. I felt as if I only had to reach out my hand and he would be there. The tears streamed down my face as I remembered his betrayal, his suffering and pain, all that he had gone though on the cross. Then a beautiful soft voice said "I had to die for your sin, but I am here now." I sat quietly for such a long time, the only way I can describe how I felt is to say, the love was overwhelming.