ago, R. G. Lee told a powerful story about a mountain school that had a
hard time keeping a teacher. It seems there was a group of big, rough
boys who took pride in running the teacher off. The biggest and roughest
of them all was named Tom.
"A new young teacher won over the
boys, however, by letting them write the rules for the school—which were
very strictly enforced with a rod. For example, cheating would be
punished with five strokes of the rod, and stealing with ten strokes,
both to be given with the offender's coat off.
well until one day Tom's lunch was stolen. A frail little boy in
hand-me-down clothes that were too big for him admitted his guilt. The
school rules demanded that he be whipped. When the teacher called the
little fellow up front, he came whimpering and begging to leave his coat
on. The pupils insisted he obey the rules and take off his coat. When
he did, a deathly silence settled over the room, for he had no shirt on
and his emaciated body looked like skin stretched over bones. The
teacher gasped and dropped the rod. He knew he could never whip that
"Suddenly, big Tom strode up and stood between the
two. 'I'll take it for him, Teacher, for after all it was my lunch he
stole.' He shrugged out of his coat.
"At the third blow the switch broke, and the teacher threw it in the corner and said, 'That's all, school dismissed.'
"The frail little boy laid his hand on big Tom's arm and through his tears said, 'Thank you, Tom, it would have killed me.'"1
that's exactly what Jesus did for you and me when he died on the cross
on Good Friday some 2000 years ago—he took your and my punishment for
all our sins so we could be freely forgiven and given God's gift of
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one
and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life." Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and, if so,
have you accepted God's full and free pardon? You can do that right now
by clicking on the God's Invitation link at the bottom of the page.
1. Cited on www.sermons.com