Thursday, April 05, 2007

Good Friday Reflection

I have a sermon called Gospelizing 101 where I exposit Rom. 3.21-26. There I reflect on God's righteousness and the atonement and I also go into 1 Pet. 2.24 which says: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness". This lends itself to one of my favourite illustrations of the atonement:

During World War II, there was a group of Australian prisoners in a Japanese POW camp in South East Asia. One of the prisoners tried to escape in order to find some food. He was caught and sentenced to receive a flogging. His physical condition was so terrible that the beating would surely kill him. Knowing this, the chaplain of the camp offered to take the flogging in his place. The Japanese commandant was astounded by this as he had never understood Western morality and out of curiosity he gave permission for the chaplain to take the flogging. The chaplain was taken to a tree, stripped naken, tied up, and viscously flogged. The prisoner who tried to escape was forced to watch and he saw the Chaplain’s body being broken and bloodied by the whip as the chaplain was flogged until he lost consciousness and then flogged some more. Later he wrote in his diary, “It was at that moment that I finally understood the Bible when it says, ‘He himself bore our sins in his body when he hung upon the tree’.”.

5 comments:

DiscuZion said...

One of the best ilustrations I have ever heard. Really touching.

Have a good "Holy Week".

sujomo said...

What a great illustration Mike! Do you know the one from "Miracle on the River Kwai"? When tools at the end of the day were counted it appeared one was missing. No one owned up. The Japanese were about to kill all the Australians until one man stepped up and said he took the tool. He was immediately executed. When they did a recount, all the tools were present and accounted for. Many men believed in Jesus because one man (known to be a Christian)was willing to give his life for others.

Have a blessed Easter! Chwers, Sujomo

Celucien L. Joseph said...

Michael,
Thanks for this wonderful illustration. It surely illustrates Rom 3:21-26
Happy Easter,
cel

Steven Carr said...

That's a good story, reminding us why sin no longer causes us any pain and suffering , because Jesus took all the pain and suffering in our place.

Steven Carr said...

It is really moral to ask for your life to be terminated early so that others may benefit?

For example, if you are on an intensive care bed, and you know such beds are in short supply, the Christian thing to do is ask for your life to be terminated early so that you can give your life for others.