by Dena McMaster
|As the story
unfolded, Abeedou understood more and more.
Iriki told the Elders that God was everywhere and that He knew everything. He explained that God was holy and perfect.
They knew that because of the sin of Adam and Eve, all men were sinners. And they all knew how sinful they were. Each one could think of many bad and shameful things that they had done. As Abeedou and Grandmother listened, they became sad.
"Did I not tell you, little one?" Grandmother asked. "Did I not tell you that it was hopeless? We are all bad. Who can make us right with God? He is all good and He cannot look on our badness."
"But Grandmother, remember the Debt-Payer. Wait until we hear about Him."
Each night Iriki taught the men from God's Book. Each night Abeedou and Grandmother sat in the hut and listened. One night he began to tell them about how God's son Jesus was born. He told them that Jesus never sinned. He was perfect. They all fell in love with Jesus. He did so many wonderful things.
"Grandmother, isn't He wonderful? He never sinned. He did many miracles. He was so good and kind. He is the one. I just know that He is the one who can pay for our sins. We are so bad and He is so good. God will accept His payment for our sins," declared Abeedou.
Grandmother jumped up. "I believe!" she cried. "He is indeed more powerful than all the spirits."
Iriki told everyone that the next night would be very important and that they must listen carefully to God's Truth. When the men gathered the next night everyone was wondering what would happen.
Then, Iriki began to tell them how Jesus was arrested. He told them about the trial before the Jews and about what Herod did. Finally, he told them how they beat Jesus and how they put Him on a cross to hang until he died.
Abeedou could not help himself. He could not be quiet. He cried out "No, No, they can't kill the Debt-Payer. There is no one else like Him. If He dies, who will take our sins away?"
The whole group sat in stunned silence. Who was that? They ran to the hut. Abeedou's secret was out. Now everyone knew that he had been listening to the teaching. What was worse was that they knew about Grandmother, too.
"Come out of there you two," said the Chief. "Have you listened to all the teaching?"
"Yes, son, I have listened and now I know that this story is not concerned with religion," Grandmother said. "It is about the Debt-Payer. But what shall we do? He died and now there is no hope for any of us."
Iriki said, "This is the end of the teaching today. But tomorrow you all must come and hear the rest of the story. Abeedou, you come and sit right beside me. Grandmother is right. This story is for everyone."
The next night every one of the elders were there. Grandmother and Abeedou sat right beside Iriki. They listened to every word Iriki said.
"Brothers, I have news for you. Though they put Jesus in a cave and put a huge stone in front of the door, they could not keep Him there. When the women came to mourn for Him in the morning of the first day of the week, they found the stone rolled away and the cave was empty. Jesus was alive! He is the Debt-Payer. He died and rose again so that your sins would be forgiven. All you have to do is believe in Him!"
Grandmother jumped up. "I believe!" she cried. "He is indeed more powerful than all the spirits. I believe and I am free."
Abeedou called out, "I too believe in Jesus."
Soon, men all over the compound began to shout. "We believe. Thank you Iriki for giving us God's Truth. Thank you God for giving us your Son Jesus."
Abeedou's father, the Chief, stood up and said, "Yes, we believe. Now, we must now tell others this good news. This message does concern women. It does concern our young men and they must hear it. Iriki, you must start back at the beginning and teach everyone about Jesus, the Debt-Payer."
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