Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For God so Loved the World

A story that came my way a while back. Enjoy!

A pagan king had a Christian minister, and because of the minister's honesty, faithfulness, wisdom, and resourcefulness, the king often enjoyed his company, spoke with him, and sought his advice. One day during a discussion the minister said, "Christ came down from heaven to save us." The king responded, "If I wanted to do something, I would command one of my servants to get it done, without myself moving or exerting any effort. Why would God himself come, take a body from a virgin, be born in a wretched manger amidst the animals, endure pain, and be crucified when He could have saved the world with one word?"

The minister asked the king to give him three days to answer his question. The minister left and went to a talented sculptor. He asked him to make a wooden statue the same size as the king's two-year-old son, and which resembled him. Then, the minister went secretly to the royal palace and met the maid responsible for the baby prince's care, and for taking him on strolls in the palace gardens in his carriage. He told her, "Listen, take this statue and dress it in clothing identical to that of the baby prince's, and put it in the royal baby carriage. The king and I will take a stroll through the palace gardens tomorrow at 5pm. When you see me raise my left arm, flip the carriage and drop the statue in the pond, and do not fear punishment."

The next day at 5pm, the king and his Christian minister were sitting by the pond talking. The king asked his minister for the answer to the question that was previously asked. At that moment, the maid was approaching with the royal baby carriage that contained the baby prince's statue. The minister raised his left arm and the maid flipped the carriage. The statue, which looked much like the baby prince, dropped in the water.

The king was unable to contain himself. He ran towards the pond and dropped to the ground to snatch his son before drowning, but immediately realized that it was only a statue. He was surprised and asked about this angrily. The minister calmed him and said, "All this happened at my command, and as a result of my planning." Then he continued, "Your majesty, why didn't you ask me or one of the servants to save your son?" The king answered, "Fatherly love is what motivated me. How can I sit and watch while another person saves my son?!" The minister responded, "And this is my answer to your question."

The point is that God loves us more than parents love their children. That's why he came down to earth, was born in a wretched manger, endured pain, was crucified, and rose to save us Himself. No one else could've taken on the task of saving us. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).

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