A few days ago I noticed a girl sitting on a bench by herself in the entry way of our library. I sat down next to her, and our conversation went something like this:
“Hey, how are you?” I asked as I sat down.
“Good, how are you?”
“Good. Did you just get out of school?” I asked.
“So do you come here a lot after school?” I asked.
“So what are your favorite subjects?”
“Music and Art,” she said.
“Really? Those are probably mine too. What do you play?” I asked.
“Piano and Guitar,” she replied, “I used to play flute but my parents don’t have money for band,” she said.
“So do you guys have any Easter traditions?” I asked.
She lit up a little and said, “We usually go to my grandma’s house for lunch. They live by a lake so then we go boating and things….”
“Really? Aw, that sounds like a lot of fun. And grandmas are usually pretty good cooks,” I said.
She agreed with a smile.
“So do you know very much about the real meaning of Easter, the resurrection and all that?” I asked her.
“No not really. I mean, I hear a little bit in youth group, but not very much.”
“Oh what church do you go to?” I asked.
“New Covenant,” she said.
(New Covenant is a good gospel-preaching church here in town.)
She said that a friend had brought her and she had only attended three times.
“Here let me explain what this tract means,” I told her, showing her our tract about the resurrection (link below). I briefly walked through each point with her. She was interested as I emphasized how we can know for certain that what the Bible says about Jesus is true.
She said, “I once learned the story about this guy named Peter who actually saw Jesus, and then Jesus let him walk on water. And then he began to sink and Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. I thought that was pretty cool,” she said with a little sparkle in her eye.
I smiled… “I know, it is pretty cool” I agreed. “There are a lot of other neat stories in the Bible too. Do you have a Bible?”
“No…only a picture Bible that my little sister has…”
“So you learned that story in youth group?” I asked.
“What else do they talk about in youth group?” I asked.
She named a few things, including “our sins.”
“What about our sins?” I asked.
She didn’t have a very clear understanding of sin, so we talked a little more about that.
“We may think we aren’t that bad,” I told her, “but we’ve all sinned. Even if we just tell one lie, that makes us a sinner. Or if we dishonor our parents, that’s sin—like if we talk back or disobey them…so that’s a really easy one to break…”
“Yeah I do that a lot,” she said and began to tell me about how hard it is with her step dad. Then she began to expound on the complicated situation of her broken family, about relatives who have died, and about her near-death experience in the hospital last year.
“Do you ever wonder why God allows bad things to happen?” I asked her.
“Yeah,” she said.
“Well you see, it’s because of sin that there are so many problems in this world. It all goes back to Adam and Eve. Do you know that story?”
She said she did.
“God didn’t make Adam and Eve robots,” I explained, “He let them choose to obey or disobey. Before they sinned, they had a really close relationship with God. But after they disobeyed there was a separation between them. Things went downhill from there. But even at the very beginning God promised that a Savior would be coming.”
“The Bible says that God is love. Do you believe that?” I asked her.
She said she did.
“Do you know why Jesus died on the cross?” I asked her.
She said something about how “He was doing it for others…” but she didn’t really get it.
“It was a really horrible death being nailed to the wood and hanging like that,” I explained.
“So why did He do it?” I asked.
I think her curiosity was aroused a little at this point, so I explained, “If Jesus hadn’t died on the cross there would be no way we could go to Heaven. We would each have to be punished for our own sins—which would mean being separated from God forever. But because God loves us, He made a way to rescue us. God said that the punishment for sin is death, but because Jesus died for us we can be free! And we can have that close relationship with God again.”
We talked for about 45 minutes. She was going the right direction, but she just needed more teaching. It was exciting to have the opportunity to build on what the Lord is already doing in her life.
I left her with a little pink New Testament and explained how there are lots of interesting stories in Matthew that she’d enjoy reading.
“I’ll read it,” she told me and seemed pretty pleased to receive it.
April is such a great time to witness, because just bringing up Easter and the Resurrection opens a door to ask others about their religious beliefs.
Sarah and I put this tract together last year. If you’d like to print some to give out, click HERE.
I’d also encourage you to read Josh McDowell’s artical on Evidence for the Resurrection here, and consider printing some out to pass out as well. It is very interesting and helpful.
(If you’d like, you can also see last year’s post here for more ideas about sharing the gospel on Resurrection Weekend.)