All This Rubbish
One Easter Sunday I took a young friend to our church service. He didn’t really want to be there but came along mainly to keep me happy.
In the middle of the sermon he turned to me and made a comment. A very mild interpretation of the comment would read, “Why am I listening to all this rubbish?”
I despaired a little, as it appeared that nothing had been achieved by bringing him.
Later while I was eating lunch I kept thinking of his words, “all this rubbish”, and the following two-minute play emerged in my mind.
The scene is a crowded courtroom. The defendant has been charged with having committed the most serious crime in the country.
The jury has just returned with its verdict.
Judge: Jury, have you reached your verdict?
Jury man: We have your honour.
Judge: What is your verdict?
Jury Man: We find the defendant guilty.
Judge: Defendant, you have been found guilty of the charges against you and I sentence you to life in prison with hard labour.
The defendant is shattered – he buries his head in his hands and says, “No! No! No! – my life is finished.”
There is an old man standing at the entrance of the courtroom with his son. He calls out, “Just a minute your honour. My son will take that man’s place and service his sentence.”
Everyone in the courtroom is stunned.
The son starts walking toward the defendant who steps down from the stand.
They meet in front of the judge. The son hands the defendant a book and says, “These are my teachings. Study them, and apply them to your life and you will experience life in all its fullness.”
The defendant starts looking into the book as he walks toward the door. He stops, looks at the son who is being led away by police officers and calls out to him, “Hey mate, thanks for taking my place but I’m not interested in all this rubbish.”
He drops the book on the floor and cheers, “I’m free!” as he walks on.
As he approaches the door he notices the disappointed look on the father’s face. He looks around to see if there is another exit so that he can avoid facing the man. But there is no other way out. He stands before the father with his head hung in shame.
Our lives are like the defendant’s walk from the stand to the door leading out of the courtroom. If I have understood the gospel message correctly, some day we will all have to face the man who gave his son to serve the sentence for everything we have done wrong so that we can live in peace and freedom for eternity.
We will have to answer to the father about how seriously we have applied the teachings of his son to our lives.
For God so loved the world that he gave
His one and only son, so that whoever believes in him
Shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3: 16