There was a boy who consistently came home late from school. There was no good reason for his tardiness and no amount of discussion from his parents seemed to help. Finally, in desperation, the boy’s father sat him down and said, “The next time you come home late from school you are going to be given bread and water for your supper – and nothing else. Is that perfectly clear, son?”
The boy looked straight into his father’s eyes and nodded. He understood perfectly. A few days later the boy came home even later than usual. His parents didn’t say anything to him, but that night at supper, the boy’s heart sank down to his feet.
His parents’ plates were filled with food but his plate contained only one piece of bread. Next to his plate was a lonely glass of water. This was the punishment his parents had warned him about. To make matters worse, this night he was starving.
The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then, quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate and put it in front of his son. The boy understood what his father was doing. The father was taking his son’s punishment upon himself.
This story illustrates perfectly what Jesus meant when He said in today’s gospel, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus came into the world to do for us what the father did for his son. He came to pay the price for our sinfulness. The price He paid was His own death on the cross. By taking our sins upon Himself, Jesus gained for us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.
Sincerely in Christ,