By Dianna Hobbs
The year was 1987.
My husband Kenya was a sophomore at Bennett High School on the cross country team going to practice one afternoon.
He was running in an affluent neighborhood in the city of Buffalo, wearing a Bennett High School track jacket, hat and sweats.
Suddenly, a police car came speeding down the street.
When the car got to Kenya, it pulled into the driveway he was jogging toward, cutting him off. The officer jumped out of the car and told him to get up against its hood.
Kenya was startled, but he obeyed. The officer proceeded to pat him down.
When Kenya asked the cop, “What are you grabbing me for? What’s going on?” he didn’t answer him.
He just told him to get in the car.
So there Kenya was, in the back of the police car, not sure what was happening. The cop drove Kenya a block down and stopped. He then finally asked him what his name was.
“Kenya Kenyatta Hobbs,” he answered.
For some reason, the officer thought Kenya was lying.
He asked him, “You expect me to believe that?” He then started cussing Kenya out, getting angrier and telling him, “Don’t jerk my chain.”
Kenya assured him that the name he said was authentic.
So the officer began looking up his information and that’s when another police car pulled up.
The second officer asked the first officer, “Well, Did you catch the guy? Why did you pick him up?” referring to Kenya.
The first officer responded, “Because he fit the description. Six feet. Maybe 150-180 pounds and black.”
By this time, Kenya was even more confused and asked again, “What’s going on? Why am I being detained?”
The first officer didn’t answer him directly. He kept on explaining to the second cop that there was a break-in reported at one of the houses and he came over to the neighborhood. He saw this guy—Kenya—running up the street and grabbed him because he just so happened to be in the vicinity.
The first officer continued trying to confirm information with dispatch.
Then the second officer heard a message over the radio. Apparently, the real perpetrator of this crime had been identified. The officers were alerted that Kenya wasn’t the guy.
After that, the first officer whipped the car over to the other side of the street, let Kenya out and told him, “Have a nice day, sir.”
That was it.
But Kenya was left terrified and shaken up. He said, he didn’t know what to do. Should he keep practicing? Should he tell his mother? Should he go home and cry? That had never happened to him before and it was scary.
He told me, the kids in the neighborhood were looking at him strangely, the way they would a crook. He felt like a criminal, he said, even though he hadn’t done anything wrong.
That brings me to Jesus, who hadn’t done anything wrong either, but still, was taken into custody. But, unlike Kenya, He wasn’t released.
Instead, Jesus willingly gave Himself over to the authorities and paid the debt for a crime He didn’t commit. Though He was innocent, perfect and sinless, He took on our iniquity.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
On this Good Friday, I’m meditating on how incredible it is that Christ, who had the power to get off the cross, laid down His life and submitted to death to redeem us back to God.
Jesus said in John 10:18 of giving His life, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.’”
Philippians 2:8 said Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death.
Because of this, you and I must be ever thankful that, though He didn’t have to do it, He freely gave His life to save ours. We should be humbled that God made such an enormous investment in us, giving up His own son to redeem His creation.
I don’t know about you, but I want to make good on God’s investment.
Though I can never repay Him, I want to yield as much of a return as I can by bringing in a harvest of souls and sharing Christ’s love with those who don’t know Him.
After all, being an effective servant and witness is the least I can do to say thanks for what He didn’t have to do.
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