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I Do
As Saburo Arakaki read through his booklet on Christianity while imprisoned in Hawaii, he began to learn about Jesus Christ. He identified with the fact that this man had ...

I Do

As Saburo Arakaki read through his booklet on Christianity while imprisoned in Hawaii, he began to learn about Jesus Christ. He identified with the fact that this man had been falsely accused and executed for something he did not do, and yet taught about mercy and offered forgiveness of sins to the world. As Arakaki’s resistance seemed to melt, he longed to read more about this intriguing figure. He got his wish when he unexpectedly received a Japanese language New Testament that he began reading under a single light bulb in a dark basement of the prison. One passage from John, chapter 12, penetrated deeply into his heart, as he thought to himself,

Jesus says that… He came not to judge, but to save the world. A sinner can be saved. The agony that I suffered fighting against approaching death as a convict on death row can’t possibly compare with the final agony of those two men that I killed. Now the only thing I can do is to ask for forgiveness from God and pray that they rest in peace.

A deep emotion overcame him as the tears flowed down his face. On his knees, he looked up and cried out, “God, thank You so much.” The words of another verse also seemed to propel him further in this new direction: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”(2 Corinthians 5:17). At that moment he knew that Jesus was in his heart, and he knew that he wanted to be baptized. Not long after, he received permission to go to a local church where the pastor asked him the all-important question, “Saburo, do you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is your personal Savior?” The convicted assassin responded passionately: “I do.”

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

—John 12:46 47


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