Six of the best
Once when I was still a small boy I went to the corner shop by myself. The droëwors made my mouth water and I couldn’t stop myself breaking off a piece and eating it. While I was chewing the shop attendant came round the corner and caught me! I immediately started crying from the fright I got. Guilty.
He took me to the owner who said he was taking me to the police. I started crying even harder and begged him not to do it. Then he recognised me as the pastor’s son and said he won’t take me to the police, but will tell my dad. I started crying even harder and asked him to rather take me to the police, because I already knew what would happen now.
My dad was not impressed with his youngest and preached long and hard about sin and doing wrong and what the punishment would be: Six hits with the cane. Eventually I had to bend for the first one. As the cane hit my buttocks the tears erupted. That was simply too much for my father. He put me on his lap and waited for me to stop sobbing. Then he told me how much he loved me and that he didn’t want to give me a hiding. He repeated that entire lecture about sin, the wages of sin and punishment. Then he dried my tears and when I had calmed down, I had to bend for the second one, was picked up and held until the tears and sobbing came to an end, and when I had calmed down…
This process repeated itself six times.
I can still remember it today. Love, sin, punishment. I know it was very hard for my dad to do, but he had to teach me that wrong actions have an enormous impact. That is to say an enormous impact on my behind!
I also learnt that there was not much I could do to correct my wrong action. I could do nothing to repair my dad’s damaged name as pastor. I couldn’t put the piece of droëwors back on the shelf, because it was already in my tummy. I had to take the punishment. I deserved it.
It’s the same when it comes to the wrong actions we take against God. It carries a punishment. If you do wrong things, you must take the punishment. But fortunately we know that God had already made a plan with our punishment. He allowed Jesus to take the punishment on our behalf. Yes, much more than six hits with a cane. The wages of our sin against God is death. We should actually have burned in hell for everything we’ve done. But Jesus died in our place and for us He went through the valley of death.
The fact that we are saved is not our fault. On the contrary. 9It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving.
Our future was hopeless. Sin is punished. Stealing droëwors is punished: Six of the best. The punishment for sin is death. Fortunately, God intervened. He loves us too much and, therefore He allowed his Son to die in our place. We did not work for it. We absolutely did not deserve it. It is only God’s love that changes love, sin and punishment into love, sin and forgiveness.
Just like that we received forgiveness on a plate. It was done by God. I know I have nothing to boast about, because I did nothing in this regard. But out of gratitude that Jesus took my punishment on Him, I can share forgiveness with those around me. Maybe I should take the punishment for others and lighten other people’s burdens, because they deserve it as little as I do.
Do you understand what the wages are for your wrong deeds?
Do you understand that it was Jesus who bore it on your behalf?
Do people around you experience that?
Lord, You have done so much for me. You have died in my place for my sins. I have no share in it. It was brought to me on a plate. Thank you, Father, for your immense grace and love. May I show my gratitude today to everybody who deserve it as little as I do. Amen