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74. A beating for the innocent 2
The new teacher was so different. Even Jim, the old boaster, was speechless about the methods that he used. The teacher prayed and then shock Nr. 2 came.
Teacher: "If we want to get along well, then we need new school rules. I want you to come up with them."
This took Jim’s breath away. Nothing like this had ever happened before.
School girl: "Don’t copy from each other."
Teacher: "That’s good. But rules are only valuable when there’s a punishment for not keeping them."
Jim: "Three blows for the one who copies."
Ouch! Back then, the students were punished with a stick.
The teacher wrote these and other rules on the chalkboard. For a few weeks, everything went well. But one morning, the teacher came into the classroom and was very sad.
Teacher: "Leave your books closed. I have bad news. Someone broke the school rules and stole Jim's sandwich. Is the guilty one going to confess?"
Everyone held their breath. Little Tom, who sat in the first row, stammered:
Tom: "I… I did it. I was… I was so hungry that I took it. I’m so sorry."
Tom’s parents were very poor and they often had no food. No one wanted him to be punished. But the teacher had to be consistent.
Teacher: "You set up the rules: the guilty party must be punished, otherwise no one will obey anymore. Tom, come to the front of the class. Ten strikes is the punishment for theft."
The teacher took the stick.
Jim: "Wait, it was my sandwich. I forgive him."
Teacher: "Jim, that’s kind of you, but there must be a punishment."
Jim: "Then hit me instead, but don’t hurt Tom."
Teacher: "Okay. That works. The rules say ten strikes, but they don’t say who is to get them."
Then the class experienced how an innocent person took the beating that the thief should have gotten.
This was the beginning of a friendship for Jim and Tom.
Everyone listened intently as the teacher then told them about Jesus, who took on Himself the punishment for every person in the world.
Teacher: "Good Friday reminds us that Jesus is innocent and that He was punished in our place. We’ve all transgressed God’s rules. For this reason, Jesus voluntarily let Himself be punished. He took the punishment of death when He died on the cross. Whoever believes in Him is free and has eternal life. Easter is the guarantee that Jesus rose from the dead and lives."
People: Narrator, teacher, a school girl, Jim, Tom
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