This isn't going to be a post about a book, but it IS a pretty interesting story. =)
There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak. He told them this story:
He was walking through town yesterday when he saw a young boy coming toward him swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. He stopped the lad and asked, “What you got there, son?”
“Just some old birds,” came the reply.
“What are you gonna do with them?” he asked.
“Take 'em home and have fun with 'em,” the boy answered. “I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time.”
“But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do?”
“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I'll take 'em to them.”
The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”
“Huh??!!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing. They ain't even pretty!”
“How much?” the pastor asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”
The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.
The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:
One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden and he was gloating and boasting.
“Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap; used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!”
“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.
Satan replied, “Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I'm gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!”
“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, I'll kill 'em,” the serpent hissed proudly.
“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.
“Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don't want those people!!”
“How much?” He asked again.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”
Jesus looked to His Father in Heaven, turned back to the devil and said, “DONE!”
Then He paid the price.
The pastor picked up the cage he opened the door and he walked from the pulpit.
Forgive me for preaching, but this is a very important day for me. Good Friday is a day in which Christians all over the world stop and remember Jesus Christ dying on the cross for everyone’s sins. The Bible says:
“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.” John 3:16
God sent Jesus to earth. While on earth, Jesus performed lots of miracles; healing the sick, bringing the dead back to life, etc. He IS the Son of God, and he is perfect. BUT the religious leaders of the time thought Jesus was lying and were so suspicious of him that they crucified him on the cross. And these are the RELIGIOUS. LEADERS. Ironic, eh?
Three nails – about four inches long with a diameter the size of a nickel – were used to hang him on a wooden cross; one in each hand and one through BOTH of His feet.
Here’s a fact: you don’t die on the cross from blood loss, although that IS a factor. You die from suffocation. It takes a lot of effort to push your chest up for every breath you take when all that’s supporting you are your hands and feet. And Jesus hung there for 6 hours.
When Jesus hung on the cross, the entire world’s sins were laid on him. Sins are, to put it simply, bad things committed by humans against God; lies, murder, stealing, cheating, adultery, greed, etc. EVERYONE has sinned. And the consequence of sin is eternal death.
But Jesus, well, you could say that he took responsibility for all our sins. He did it for you, me, and the whole world. So instead of US dying and going to the fiery pits of hell because of all our wrongdoings, Jesus went there for us.