(sent to me by Thinus)
The boy stood defiantly. "Go ahead, give it to me."
The principal looked at the young rebel and asked, "How many times haveyou been here?"
The child sneered rebelliously, "Apparently not enough."
"And you have been punished each time?" the principal responded.
"Yeah, I been punished, if that's what you want to call it. Go ahead I cantake whatever you dish out. I always have."
"And no thought of your punishment enters your head the next time youdecide to break the rules does it?"
"Nope, I do whatever I want to do. Ain't nothing you people gonna do tostop me either."
The principal looked at the teacher who stood nearby. "What did he dothis time?"
"Fighting. He shoved Tommy's face into the sandbox."
The principal looked at the boy, "What did Tommy do to you?"
"Nothing, I didn't like the way he was looking at me."
The teacher stiffened but a quick look from the principal stopped him ashe quietly said, "Today, is the day you learn about grace."
"Grace? Isn't that what you old people do before you sit down to eat? I
don't need none of your stinkin' grace."
"Oh but you do." The principal studied the young man's face andwhispered.
"Oh yes, you truly do..." The boy continued to glare as the principalcontinued, "Grace, in its short definition is unmerited favor. You can not earn it, it is a gift and is always freely given. It means that you will not be getting what you so richly deserve."
The boy looked puzzled. "You're not gonna whup me? You just gonna let mewalk? The boy studied the face of the principal, "No punishment at all? Even though I socked Tommy and shoved his face into the sandbox?"
"Oh, there has to be punishment. What you did was wrong and there arealways consequences to our actions. There will be punishment. Grace is not an excuse for doing wrong."
"I knew it," Sneered the boy as he held out his hands. "Let's get onwith it."
The principal nodded toward the teacher. "Bring me the belt."
The teacher presented the belt to the principal. He carefully folded itin two and then handed it back to the teacher. He looked at the child and said. "I want you to count the blows."
The principal walked over to stand directly in front of the young man.He gently reached out and folded the child's outstretched, expectant hands together and then turned to face the teacher with his own hands outstretched. One quiet word came forth from his mouth. "Begin." The belt whipped down on the outstretched hands of the principal.
Crack! The young man jumped ten feet in the air. Shock registered acrosshis face, "One" he whispered. Crack! "Two." His voice raised an octave.
Crack! "Three..." He couldn't believe this. Crack! "Four." Big tears welled up in the eyes of the rebel. "OK stop! That's enough. Stop!"
Crack! Came the belt down on the hands of the principal. Crack! The childflinched with each blow, tears beginning to stream down his face. Crack! Crack! "No please", the former rebel begged, "Stop, I did it, I'm the one who deserves it. Stop! Please. Stop..." Still the blows came, Crack! Crack! One after another. Finally it was over. The principal stood with sweat glistening across his forehead and beads trickling down his face. Slowly he knelt down. He studied the young man for a second and then his swollen hands reached out to cradle the face of the weeping child.
Grace came to you through the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth who atCalvary received the punishment that you and I deserve for our sin. His back was whipped for the idols that we have bent our backs to. Nails were driven through His sinless hands for the things that we have
done with our hands.Nails were driven through His feet for the paths that we have chosen to
walk.He wore a crown of thorns for the things we have given our minds to. A lance was driven into his heart for the things we have held in our hearts.
Truly we have received God's grace.
G R A C E
God's Righteousness At Christ's Expense