My friend and associate Cliff Barrows told me this story about bearing punishment. He recalled the time when he took the punishment for his children when they had disobeyed. “They had done something I had forbidden them to do. I told them if they did the same thing again I would have to discipline them. When I returned from work and found that they hadn’t minded me, the heart went out of me. I just couldn’t discipline them.”Any loving father can understand Cliff’s dilemma. Most of us have been in the same position. He continued with the story: “Bobby and Bettie Ruth were very small. I called them into my room, took off my belt and my shirt, and with a bare back, knelt down at the bed. I made them both strap me with the belt ten times each. You should have heard the crying! From them, I mean! They didn’t want to do it. But I told them the penalty had to be paid and so through their sobs and tears they did what I told them.”Cliff smiled when he remembered the incident. “I must admit I wasn’t much of a hero. It hurt. I haven’t offered to do that again, but I never had to spank them again, either, because they got the point. We kissed each other when it was over and prayed together.”
In an infinite way that staggers our hearts and minds, we know that Christ paid the penalty for our sins, past, present, and future.That is why He died on the cross.