He Took The Whipping
In the mountains of Virginia, there once was a
one-room school with students no teacher had been able to handle. Two or
three teachers had been run off from this school in one year by the unruly
A young teacher heard about the school and applied
for the job. The man interviewing him asked, "Do you not know what you
are asking for? No one has been able to handle these students. You are
just asking for a terrible beating."
After a few moments of silent prayer, the young
man replied, "Sir, with your consent I accept the challenge. Just give
me a trial basis."
The next morning the young man stood before the
class. He said to the class, "Young people, I came here today to conduct
school. But I realize I can't do it by myself. I must have your help."
One big boy they called Big Tom, in the back of the room whispered to his
buddies, "I'll not need any help. I can lick that little bird all by myself."
The young teacher told the class that if they
were to have school, there would have to be some rules to go by. But he
also added that he would allow the students to make up the rules, and that
he would list them on the blackboard. This was certainly different, the
students thought! One young man suggested "No stealing!" Another one shouted,
"Be on time!" Pretty soon they had ten rules listed on the board.
The teacher then asked the class what the punishment
should be for breaking the rules. "Rules are no good unless they are enforced,"
"Beat him across the back ten times without his
coat on," was the decision of the boys.
"That is pretty severe, boys. Are you ready to
stand by it?" inquired the teacher. Another yell, and the teacher said,
"The rules stand. School comes to order!"
Everything went well for two or three days. Then
Big Tom came in one day very upset. He declared that someone had stolen
his lunch. After talking with the students, they came to the conclusion
that little Timmy had stolen Big Tom's lunch. Someone had seen little Timmy
with Big Tom's lunch! The teacher called little Timmy up to the front of
the room. Little Timmy admitted he had taken Big Tom's lunch.
So the teacher asked him, "Do you know the punishment?"
Little Timmy nodded that he did.
"You must remove your coat, then," the teacher
instructed. The little fellow had come with a great big coat on.
Little Timmy said to the teacher, "I am guilty,
and I am willing to take my punishment, but please don't make me take off
The teacher reminded little Timmy of the rules
and punishments and again told him he must remove his coat and take his
punishment like a man. The little fellow started to unbutton hist old coat.
As he did so, the teacher saw he did not have a shirt on under the coat.
And even worse, he saw a frail and bony frame hidden beneath that coat.
The teacher asked little Timmy why he had come to school without a shirt
Little Timmy replied, "My daddy's dead, and my
mother is very poor. I don't have but one shirt, and my mother is washing
it today. I wore my big brother's coat so's to keep warm."
That young teacher stood and looked at the frail
back, the ribs sticking out, the spine protruding against the skin. He
wondered how he could lay a rod on that little back and without even a
shirt on. Still, he knew he must enforce the punishment or the children
would not obey the rules. So he drew back to strike little Timmy.
Just then Big Tom stood up and came down the aisle.
He asked, "Is there anything that says I can't take little Timmy's whipping
The teacher thought about it and answered, "The
rule says what the punishment is for stealing, but it doesn't say who must
take the punishment."
With that Big Tom ripped his coat off and stooped
and stood over little Timmy at the desk. Hesitatingly, the teacher began
to lay the rod on that big back. But for some strange reason, after only
five licks that old rod just broke in half.
The young teacher buried his face in his hands
and began to sob. He heard a commotion and looked up to find not even one
dry eye in the room. Little Timmy had turned and grabbed Big Tom around
the neck, apologizing to him for stealing his lunch, begging his forgiveness.
He declared, "Tom, I am sorry I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry.
Tom, I'll love you till the day I die for taking my whipping for me. Yes,
I'll love you forever!"
Friend, you have broken the rules and
deserve eternal punishment! But Jesus Christ took your scourging for you;
He died in your place and now offers to clothe you with His garments of
salvation. Aren't you glad that He took the whipping for you?
|For the wages
of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Lord. --Romans 6:23 (NIV)