Text Illustrations
THE BIG BLACK DOOR


An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question, "What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?" The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad. Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution.


The general turned to his aide and said, "They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice."


The aide said, "What lies beyond the big door?"


"Freedom," replied the general. "I’ve known only a few brave enough to take it."


-- Don McCullough, "Reasons to Fear Easter," Preaching Today, Tape No. 116.

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