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THE PRINCE OF PEACE AND THE PAUPER


It may be a poor example, but I draw from Mark Twain's classic "The Prince and The Pauper." Ten-year-old Prince Edward, spoiled and bored, finds a pauper boy, Tom Conti, who is his precise double in appearance. The two trade places on a lark, but the Prince cannot get back into the castle and the adventure begins.


Throughout the story the young Prince, dirty and dressed in a pauper's rags, insists that he is indeed the heir to the throne, and despite the mocking and jeering of the commoners around him, he maintains his royal bearing, seeing the suffering his father's cruel and selfish rule has brought about and caring for the people, but he never acts the beggar, never treats anyone beneath his rank with disdain, and when he finally ascends to the throne he sets things right in the kingdom.


As I said, perhaps a poor example and certainly not a precise analogy, but the Prince of Peace came to us in disguise and moved among us, witnessing the dregs of sin and caring for His subjects, all the while maintaining His royal bearing and never stooping to the destructive behavior of His fallen ones. Even when He hung on the cross and mockers below said, "If He is the Messiah, let Him save Himself" and as they wagged their tongues and jeered, He raised His royal head and prayed "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Even then, He cared even for them.


We need Him. We need a High Priest who is able to move among His people, putting His wounded hand on our heads in blessing, lifting us up when we fall, interceding for us before the Father, standing in the midst of His congregation yet unsullied and unchanged; as one with us but not like us. We need Him.



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