The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

The Great Chief’s Act of Love

There was once a chief of a great island tribe in the South Pacific. The chief was a just and honest man, always looking to better the lives of his people. One day a member of the tribe came to the chief complaining that someone had stolen some of his tools and food. This outraged the chief. This had never happened in his village before. His people had enjoyed such prosperity that no one in the tribe was needy. There was no excuse for thievery.

He demanded that the culprit make himself known. Everyone feared the great chief and no one came forward and admitted to the crime. This angered the chief even more. The chief made a declaration that if anyone was caught stealing in his village they would be tied to the tree in the center of the village and whipped 100 times by the village's mightiest warrior.

It would be a terrible fate for anyone. This punishment was so severe that it could be fatal to some. It would be, at the very least, a debilitating event for anyone unfortunate enough to receive this sentence. It was the chief's hope that his threat would prevent anyone from stealing again. He did not want to sentence anyone in his tribe but more than that he didn't want his people to live in fear of a thief.

A few days later some angry villagers came to the chief's home with the lawbreaker. They had caught the thief in the act. To the shock of the chief and everyone else in the tribe, the criminal was the chief's own elderly mother. Her head fell in shame when her son asked her if it was true. Her silence confirmed the truth.

Everyone in the tribe debated if the chief would go through with sentencing his mother. His frail mother would surely not survive the harsh punishment. The chief told everyone to go home. He would make an announcement tomorrow in the center of the village.

Everyone gathered in the center of the village early the next day to see what the chief would do. A handful of villagers thought the chief may go through with the punishment since he was just, not showing favoritism to any with regard to keeping the law.

Most, however, believed that even though the chief was a good man, he would find a way to prevent the punishment from being delivered for his mother's sake. The chiefs somber arrival made it plain to all that he was deeply grieved by the passing events of the last several days. The law needed to be fulfilled.

The chief, in a loud, ominous voice, directed some warriors to bind his mother to the tree in the center of the village and to await his command before proceeding with the punishment. As onlookers gasped at what was about to take place the mighty warriors quickly bound the frail arms of the chief's mother to the tree. Her back would receive the full force of the torturous whipping.

When the warriors had finished securing the chief's mother and the one to deliver the punishment was in place a thick silence fell on the crowd. Everyone waited for the chief's command to begin the whipping. Then something happened that astonished everyone, even the close advisors of the chief.

The great chief stepped down from his place of honor, removed his cloak, walked to his mother and wrapped his muscular frame around his mother's body and ordered the warrior to commence with the punishment. In this way he saved his mother and fulfilled the law.

In an even greater sacrifice, the Lord Jesus took the full brunt of the wrath of God, suffered for our sins on the cross, and fulfilled the law.