There is a story that comes out of the Bedouin culture.
“Bedouin” is the Aramaic name for “desert dwellers”. These people live much as the characters of the old testament did. During a heated argument, according to this story, a young Bedouin struck and killed a friend of his. Knowing the ancient, inflexible customs of his people, the young man fled, running across the desert under the cover of darkness, seeking safety.
He went to the black tent of the tribal chief in order to seek his protection. The old chief took the young Arab in. The chief assured him he would be safe until the matter could be settled legally.
The next day, the young man’s pursuers arrived, demanding the murderer be turned over to them. They would see that justice would prevail in their own way.
“But I have given my word,” protested the chief.
“But you don’t know whom he killed!” they countered.
“I have given my word” the chief repeated.
“He killed your son!” One of them blurted out.
The chief was deeply and visibly shaken with this news. He stood speechless with his head bowed for a long time. The accused and accusers as well as curious onlookers waited breathlessly. What would happen to the young man? Finally the old man raised his head.
“Then he shall become my son”, he informed them, “and everything I have will one day be his”.
The young man certainly didn’t deserve such generosity. And that, of course, is the point. Love in its purest form is beyond comprehension. No one can merit it. It is freely given. It is agape, the love of God. Look to the cross. At the cross, we encounter love in its purest form.
[Ikhide]: Easter is behind us and won’t be celebrated for another year; at least officially. But by responding to God’s love and extending same to everyone we meet, we perpetuate the true meaning of Easter. And that, my friend, is worth more than any holiday.
Source: In A Nutshell, a weekly publication of Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.
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