Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Legal Dilemma

The story is told of an early Russian tribal leader who issued only two laws: The first ordered all tribal members to love their parents. The second commanded that they not steal.

This man's leadership and these two laws made his tribe the greatest in all of Russia.

One day, it was discovered that someone was stealing. This greatly angered the leader. He brought all the people together and said, "Let the thief come forward and receive ten lashes for his crime."

No one stepped forward, so he upped the punishment to 20 lashes, then to 30, and finally, to 40. He stopped there because he knew that only a very strong man could survive more than 40 lashes with the whip.

The leader then dispersed the crowd and sent his men to search until they discovered the thief. Within a week, they brought the thief to the leader. On seeing who it was, the leader gasped. It was his own mother!

The guards began wagering among themselves as to what their great leader would do. Would he obey his second law, keep his word, and whip his mother? Or would he obey his first law, love his mother, and let her go?

Either way, he would break a law and bring disgrace upon himself and the laws he sought to enforce. Yet, if the crime went unpunished, everyone would steal.

The leader gathered the tribe together. They brought his mother forward and bared her frail back. Then, just before the whip master brought the first blow down upon her, the leader strode over to his mother, tore off his shirt, and draped himself over her slight body, taking the 40 lashes himself. Both laws were satisfied.

Isn't that just what Jesus did for us? All of us have been disobedient and fallen short of God's purpose in creating us. The Sinless Son of God took the punishment we deserved on himself at the Cross. We should have died for our own sins, but Jesus took our place.


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