The Whipping Post

     I sat there in my jail cell, shackled to the wall with heavy chains. I was a notorious criminal; I had broken every command in the land and now I was paying the price.

     I heard the sound of heavy chains dragging along the cold ground as the guards hauled another prisoner to the whipping post. I shuddered as his eerie screams echoed down the long corridor. I knew I was next. My shoulders sagged at the thought of the agony I was to endure. I knew I deserved it.

     My head jerked up at the sound of the guards outside my cell door. As I was roughly jerked to my feet and led down the dark corridor, I began to protest loudly.

    “No!” I cried, “You can’t take me. Just leave me alone!” I began to fight the guards with the last of my fleeing strength. It was no use. Their strong hold never weakened as they dragged me down the corridor.

     Finally giving up, I allowed them to chain me to the whipping post. Arching my back, I listened for the sound of the whip whistling through the air. Gritting my teeth, I prepared for the stinging pain, but it never came. Instead of the whip whistling through the air, I heard a kind voice next to me. In the place of stinging pain, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder.

    Glancing up, I saw Him. The Man who had tried to befriend me for so many years. The Man who I turned my back on. The One who I scoffed and taunted day after day. I looked away, ashamed that He should see me like this.

     As He unchained me, He commanded the guards to chain Him in MY PLACE.

     Bewildered, I staggered back. Did He not see these filthy rags I wore? Did He not see the whip in the guard’s hands? Did He not remember everything I had done to Him? Did He not know of all the crimes I had committed?

     As the whip whistled through the air, He looked into my eyes and I began to understand. As the whip came down on his back, sobs began to rack my body and I crumbled to the ground. As His mouth opened in an agonizing scream, I realized that He did see. He saw it ALL. He saw the filthy rags I wore. He saw the chains on my feet and the jail cell I sat in. He knew of all the sin I had committed. He knew it all, yet He took my place at the whipping post.