THE wounded prince had the answer to the king’s pertinent question: What man will sacrifice himself to redeem Jaiye from the Death Curse?
Prince Àlà answered, and his voice was a forceful strain.
‘Fa-ther…!’ he called. ‘The sacrifice has been made already!’ he said, and a quiet murmur drifted across the gathered people.
Àlà decided to use words of Zenas the evangelist, as the latter had preached when the two men met in the Israelite city of Beersheba.
‘Yes the ultimate price had been paid,’ resumed the crown prince. ‘The high heavens we worship in Jaiye kingdom is only a wretched shadow of the Divine Nature.
‘There is an Almighty God up there above the heavens, who made our world and every one of us.
‘But none of us can reach this Most High God on our own, no matter how many ways we devise! We are bound to die in our sins and be damned!
‘But the Son of God Jesus Christ has already sacrificed Himself for us… in order to redeem us from the curse of eternal damnation plaguing every mortal man.’
Àlà paused and grimaced in pain where he sat. And he struggled to pick up again.
Just then a bold voice rose from among the congregation.
‘If the sacrifice has been made!’ the voice shouted. ‘If really the price has been paid as you said, why then do we still have the Death Curse in Jaiye? Why are we still plagued by it?!’ he demanded.
Zenas picked up from there in a clear, resounding voice.
‘That is because we don’t know the Redeemer and we haven’t accepted His redeeming sacrifice for our sins.
‘Anyone who believes in Jesus the Redeemer and in His sacrifice for us will be saved from that curse of eternal death!’ declared the young man.
Zenas words were clear and understandable to everyone in the temple hall. The evangelist’s words rolled out with such pure fire that it warmed the cold hearts of the gathered listeners.
But as sincere and true as the gentle words felt to the gathering, the people thought it quite abrupt and sudden to abandon their traditions for a different Path. They felt hesitant and Zenas could sense it.
The evangelist admitted that simply illustrating the mystery of redemption through the prince’s sacrifice for Koje slaves was good enough. But then he could tell that his mere illustrations weren’t enough to win those devotees for Jesus.
The young man remembered the scriptures he carried on him now. He dipped his hand into his pouch and brought out a parchment copy of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
He turned to face the seated king.
‘Your Majesty, there is a people like Jaiye too,’ he said. ‘There is a nation where atonement was made with the blood of animals every season. Like what we do here in Jaiye.’
Everyone was curious to know. For even though many Jaiye elite people had been to that nation, they didn’t know about her religious traditions.
‘Really, what people? Tell us about them,’ replied Obade. ‘Are they aware of that Jesus the Redeemer too? Are they also aware about the ultimate sacrifice?’
Zenas answered. ‘Yes they are aware, Your Majesty!’
He opened the parchment. ‘I will read about their worship rites to you now,’ he said and read out a small portion:
‘“The first covenant had rules for worship and an earthly place for worship as well. A Tent was put up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place…
‘“Behind the second curtain was the Tent called the Most Holy Place. In it were the gold altar for the burning of incense and the Covenant Box all covered with gold and containing the gold jar with manna in it…
‘“This is how those things have been arranged. The priests go into the outer Tent every day to perform their duties, but only the High Priest goes into the inner Tent, and he does so only once a year.
‘“He takes with him blood which he offers to God on behalf of himself and for the sins which the people have committed without knowing they were sinning.”’
It was from the Bible Book of Hebrews chapter 9, and verses 1 through 7.
King Obade was amazed at the resemblance between their nation’s worship rites and those of that other nation.
He got up and walked down to the young evangelist, with the chief priest already heading there. And before Obade could get to him, Jakan had arrived with a question for the young speaker.
‘Tell me, what is this book?’ enquired the priest. ‘What nation are you telling us about? Their rites and rituals look a lot like ours? How’s that so?’
Zenas replied him. ‘It is the Holy Scriptures I just read to you. And the nation is Israel, God’s chosen people.’
Obade got there now and the chief priest gave way for him.
The king had a sudden question. ‘Well, if they’re God’s people and they do worship the same way as we do, why are these sacrifices wrong then? Why do we need a new way of worship?’ he asked.
Zenas traced a finger to a place in the passage. ‘It is clearly written here, Your Majesty. Let me show you why,’ he said and resumed with the words.
‘“The Holy Spirit clearly teaches from all these arrangements that the way into the Most Holy Place has not yet been opened as long as the outer Tent still stands.
‘“This is an illustration which point to the present time.
‘“It means that the offerings and the animal sacrifices presented to God cannot make the worshipper’s heart perfect, since they have to do only with food, drinks and various purification ceremonies.
‘“These are all outward rules, which apply only until the time when God will establish a new order.”’
Zenas had just read from the same passage. And the entire house was engulfed in the blaze of the flaming words of the gospel. (The reading was from the same 9th chapter of Hebrews, and verses 8 through 10.)
A bold member of the congregation stepped forward right then and the preacher turned to him.
‘All right, we agree with you,’ the devotee said, facing the evangelist. ‘Now tell us what is the new order?’ he demanded.
Zenas smiled. ‘The new order is the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
‘Look, it takes the highest sacrifice to redeem man from the greatest curse. It takes the costly sacrifice of a pure, righteous soul! And where will we ever find such an impossible offering? It can only be the sinless Son of God.
‘Only the Most High God will decide the way to Him. And God in His infinite wisdom gave His Son to bridge the gap between us and Him.’
Zenas went on with a few more words of scripture.
‘“But Christ has already come as the High Priest of the good things that are already here. The tent in which He serves is greater and more perfect; it is not a tenth made by human hands, that is, it is not a part of this created world.
‘“When Christ went through the tent and entered once and for all into the Most Holy Place, He did not take the blood of goats and bulls to offer as a sacrifice; rather, He took His own blood and obtained eternal salvation for us.”’
And right then everything became clearer to the people like the dawning of day. They understood and marvelled at the wonder of that ultimate sacrifice.
The congregation started falling to their knees, in several numbers. And before anybody could say a thing the entire worshippers were down on the floor.
They cried: ‘We believe in the Redeemer! We believe! Pray for us! We believe!’
Soon Jakan bowed to his knees too; and his company of priests followed straightaway, falling on their faces.
The king couldn’t also help it, no. And he slowly descended to his knees as well. He called to the speaker: ‘Pray for us, young man! Pray for our redemption in Jaiye!’
Zenas stood dazed and glanced over a sea of bowed heads. He was too shocked. Too stunned at the miraculous sight in front of him. And the young preacher couldn’t help but go down on his knees, too.
He spread his hands to the skies and prayed for the people as they cried out for redemption.
And before the entire house could rise to their feet, the noble prince had quietly breathed his last.
The people rose like the sea waves and too soon fell on their faces to mourn the death of a most beloved prince.
They cried, they groaned, they wailed. But Iyun was the most grieved of the bereaved nation.
The evangelist interrupted the loud cries of mourning. He moved closer to Àlà’s lifeless body, knelt down and said a prayer.
In a shocking moment, the dead son of Jaiye jolted back to life with a deafening sneeze. And like the heavenly mystery called a miracle his hurting pains disappeared into thin air, too.
Àlà got back on his feet a living being. For he stood up to his feet alive and whole.
The people cried in an overwhelming shock. They hadn’t before seen these marvelous mysteries, ever. And they believed the gospel even more.
Iyun cried with inexpressible joy. And Jakan ordered a man to free the young maiden. As the man untied her, Iyun leapt out of the falling bonds and rushed down to her man.
In a sudden flight of a bird, the cute, lovely dove leapt into Àlà’s arms, wrapped her slender hands tightly around his brawny frame… and she hugged him so sweet it hurt to tears.
And as the young prince held his lady’s beautiful face now, and peered at the glitter in her charming eyes, he observed that his woman was smiling so sweet already. And he couldn’t believe his eyes.
For the people of Koje could never even smile, as long as animals in the wild cannot.
Àlà picked up his cute, little bundle by the waist, and he spun her around in a full blown circle.
‘Ah you can smile my darling! You can really smile!’ he cried. ‘Ah the curse is broken; the animal curse is broken, darling!’ he said in tears.
And he could see that the death curse was done with, too.
So, as the prince swirled his peerless damsel in a playful spin, the latter burst into giggles and ripples of laughter. And the rapturous laughter resounded through the quiet temple hall.
For everyone stood still and marvelled. They marvelled at what a supernatural wonder had dawned on Jaiye kingdom from the gracious Redeemer.
Now it was dawn already. It was the dawn of a new day.
King Obade issued a royal decree that cancelled sacrifices in Jaiye Kingdom forever. The ruler also declared the people of Koje free sons and daughters of the kingdom.
For an outcast people on the outpost suddenly became lawful citizens dwelling within.
And now as the sun rose in the lofty skies that blissful morning, the event that was to be a ritual feast at daybreak became the grand royal wedding.
A wedding between the crown prince and his beautiful crown princess.
And they lived happily ever after.
Thank you for following through the journey and experience of our eNovel Sacriprice.
We believe it was worth the while for you. And if that is so, please share with a friend; and then, another… and yet another!
Till we’re all inspired by the Great God through His Great Stories!
Until next time, let’s go make God proud!
—Kayode & Tola Olla
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