From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

People often call Christianity a bloody religion but ignore the atrocities in world religion. Why is this?

— P.Q.

Dear P.Q.: There is so much unrest at the border of the USA and Mexico today. But from that part of the world an interesting piece of history is told about atonement. It was A.D. 1300. The sun was riding high in the Mexican sky. Hundreds of people were gathered at the foot of the ancient pyramid since early morning anticipating the great event. Spotting a boat across the lake, they gazed upon a young Indian — handsome, athletic, in the prime of life. The jewels on his garment glistened in the sunlight. Slowly, deliberately, and without expression, he made his way from the shore through a path towards the pyramid, while garlands of tropical flowers were thrown at his feet. Scores knelt and cried, “Take my sins ... take my sins,” or, “Remember me.”

Reaching the stone steps leading to the summit, priests stripped him of his garments. Alone, he slowly climbed the hundred steps. When he reached the top six priests emerged and gripped each limb of his body and quickly bent him over a convex stone. A fifth held his head. A sixth priest had a long, curved, jeweled knife, sharp as a razor’s edge. Looking towards the small temple erected on the top of the pyramid the Indian chanted a few syllables. Like a flash the knife pierced the heart of the young man.

What was happening? The young Indian had been chosen and trained to give his life’s blood in atonement for the people’s sins — something that had to continually be done. Thus 20,000 people annually were slaughtered on the altars of ancient Mexico.

Friend, Jesus Christ came to be that one-time and all-sufficient sacrifice for mankind — past, present, and future. What a merciful God.