Enroute from Los Angeles to take up my newly assigned post in Boston, I was scheduled to show our Jews for Jesus film Still Not Ashamed! at a church in Las Vegas. Everything went according to plan—until the film projector, which was quite old, slipped the film. After about 10 minutes of trying to make it work, the projectionist gave up.
The pastor was very gracious, and exclaimed from his seat in back, Just wing it!” A good missionary is always prepared to speak, even at the drop of a hat (or the failure of a film), so I did.
Since the Jewish High Holy days were just around the corner, I spoke on the Day of Atonement and what the Lord required as stated in Leviticus chapters 16 and 17. I emphasized God’s requirement of blood to effect atonement and brought up the question, “Where did our rabbis get authority to substitute the rituals we have today for God’s requirement for the shedding of blood?”
During the question and answer period, a hand shot up from the back of the church. “My name is Daniel, and I am Jewish,” the young man said. “My friend invited me to come and see the film, but I’m glad it didn’t work because your words have really struck home. I agree with what you are saying. I attend a minyan. I have wondered why we don’t offer the sacrifices now at Yom Kippur.”
Daniel’s question about sacrifice and his reference to attending a minyan (a group of at least 10 adult Jewish males who meet daily for prayer) indicated to me that he felt true concern about meeting his religious obligations. I asked him what he thought of Jesus, and he replied, “He just might be the Messiah, but I don’t know if I could ever follow him. It would cost me too much. My family is very wealthy, and if I followed Jesus, I could be letting millions of dollars go down the drain. I even might be cut off from my family altogether.”
I asked Daniel if he had any assurance that God forgave his sin at Yom Kippur. Words were unnecessary as he shrugged his shoulders and raised his hands heavenward. I followed my question with a statement of assurance that through Jesus God can and will hear our prayers if we are willing to count the cost and follow him.
After my presentation, Daniel spoke with me privately. He gave me his address and phone number for further contact and said he would read the Gospel of Matthew and ask God if it is true.
I had planned merely to show a film about our ministry, but God had other plans. Perhaps another son of Abraham will come to faith in Yeshua because of that change in plans.