Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW (05/02/19)
- TITLE: Death by Execution
By Dave Walker
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The king, his head held high climbed up the scaffold. Suddenly, with a look from the him, there was silence. The roll of drums which had heralded a thousand drops of the bloody blade of death were silent. The king's voice, steady and majestic carried across the masses. 'I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.'
The silence was tangible. Then a ruffian in uniform shouted, "The drums! The drums!" Others joined in. "He must die! The king must die!" The drumrolls thundered, the king lay prostrate and the blade dropped. Hideous cheers erupted as the monarch's head was held high by his hair.
Maximilian Robespierre looked on from his vantage point. The Reign of Terror had begun. As a politician who had sided with the revolution, he had the adoration of the masses. Now, with the king eliminated, he became a virtual dictator and set about eliminating anyone deemed to be an enemy of the people. He was a man possessed, and The Terror knew no bounds. Nobles, foreigners, ordinary citizens suspected of disagreeing with the revolution --- all were thrown into the Bastille or summarily executed without trial. In the frenzy of killing, a pall of fear enveloped France as the thirst for blood gripped the masses swirling each day around Madame Guillotine. It is estimated in the 10 months the Reign of Terror lasted, more than 10,000 souls died in prison and over 17,000 heads toppled into the baskets.
But Satan kills and destroys even those who serve him most loyally. Robespierre's megalomania was fuel for his enemies. Less than a year after the start of his Reign of Terror, he was arrested. Within a day, without recourse to a trial, and amid the jeers of a bloodthirsty mob, his head joined the thousands he had caused to topple from the guillotine. He reaped what he had sown so abundantly.
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1700 years earlier another execution had taken place. A restless mob had crowded a courtyard crying for blood. The ruler tried to intervene, but the mob would have none of it. "We want him dead." they shouted. The cry rang through the courtyard and into the streets, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
When Jesus staggered through the streets of Jerusalem, the crowds had seen it all before. The Roman roads were lined with the victims of crucifixion as reminders of their oppressor's cruel sovereignty.
Now, He hung upon a cross, breathing His last. There was no cheering mob, merely a mocking, supercilious one. As in France, the air was thick with evil. Yet, when He died, there was no rejoicing --- no raucous jeers, but a hushed awe as the sun grew dark and the earth shook. History was tilting upwards.
The Man on the Cross was reaping what others sowed. Into the field of His life he took all the seeds of sin and destruction sown by man since his creation and reaped their fruit --- the wrath of God. It came physically in the form of flesh ripped raw on His back, thorns plunged into His forehead, nails thrust through the nerves and sinews of His hands and feet, a sword in His side and an excruciating death. Spiritually, it manifested in the utter loneliness of abandonment by His Father.
As Jesus bore the fruit of our sin, He cleared the fields of sown sin for whoever believes in Him, making them fertile with divine love, ready for the seeds He gives us to sow. As we plant the seeds of His Spirit, we reap love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness and self-control.
And because He chose to reap what He did not sow, we can sow His seeds into the lives of those around us. And how rich is that harvest.
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