There’s an apocryphal story from the days when corporal punishment was commonplace in the schools: Four boys were sent to the principal’s office to be reprimanded for bullying. While they were nervously waiting, another boy arrived with a message from his teacher. He conscientiously stood beside the four naughty boys as he waited to pass on the note. After awhile, the harried principal appeared at the door and ushered them into his office. The first four boys traipsed inside while the fifth remained waiting. However, the principal had noticed five boys outside, so he barked at the fifth boy to move it up and get inside. Thinking that the principal was going to take the note before dealing with the naughty boys the fifth boy dutifully entered the office.
But his foot had barely touched the carpet when he heard the principal telling the boys to bend down for two switches each. “And you!” said the principal to the fifth boy. “But, but . . . Sir,” began the boy. “Don’t but me! Bend down and take your punishment. You can make your excuses afterwards!” Totally intimidated the poor boy bent down and received two switches. It was only when the principal had finished that the boy managed to explain that he had brought a letter from the teacher. To which the principal responded, “Okay. That means you’re in credit for the next time!”
Which brings to mind another incident. About the time when an innocent person received a punishment he never deserved … when Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him . . .” Isaiah 53:5.
Yes, Jesus’ action enabled us to hear “the word of truth, the gospel of (our) salvation” Ephesians 1:13. And “having believed” (Ephesians 1:13) we were entered in the heavenly ledger known as the “Lamb’s book of life” Revelation 21:27.
Isn’t that fantastic? Because Jesus took the punishment that was meant for us, it’s been credited to our advantage!