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." John 3:16
"Years 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
"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.
"Everything went 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 little boy.
"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.'" Cited on www.sermons.com
And 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 eternal life.
"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
praying the following prayer:
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the
wrongs that I have done. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died
on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me. I invite you, Jesus, to
come into my heart and life as Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my
life to you. Please give me the desire to be what you want me to be,
and to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for
your free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."