Recently, my pastor posed an interesting question: could it be that the apostle Paul was present at the crucifixion of Christ? To be honest, the thought had never crossed my mind, but I realize now that it is possible. Could that be why Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners? Could his foul deeds have gone beyond persecuting and murdering Christians to the point that he was one of the ones who smote or spit upon the Lord?
It's an intriguing thought, isn't it? It would explain how Paul knew it was the Lord speaking to him on the Damascus Road. It would explain many of Paul's comments about how lowly he was. Yes, it would explain a lot of things, but it also gives great hope.
Suppose Paul was there at the cross of Christ, cheering as the soldiers drove the nails through the Savior's hands and feet. Here's the miraculous part: God still chose to use him. Not only did God use him, but Paul became one of the greatest preachers the world has ever known. He penned most of the New Testament. He lived his life as a missionary, going wherever God sent him to share the news that Jesus saves. If God could use someone like that (a Christian killer, a Jesus mocker, a hard-hearted man), isn't there hope for everyone? Yes, if God could use Paul, He can surely use you and me.