Beginning sometime in the 15th century, English royalty began the practice of using “whipping boys” to punish young princes.  In this custom, a boy was assigned to receive the punishment in the place of the young prince.  Since the young prince was a king in training, only his father, the real king, could administer punishment for anything the prince did wrong.  Unfortunately, the king was often quite busy with official duties and was not available to punish the young prince when necessary.  So, to have a method to teach the young prince discipline, the whipping boy was assigned to the prince to receive the punishment for the prince. The whipping boy was usually a boy of high-ranking nobility himself.  He would be raised with the young prince and was, therefore, very close to him, often his only playmate and close friend.  Since the two were so close, it was reasoned that, punishment given to this friend that he did not deserve, would also affect the young prince as he would empathize with the suffering to his friend. 

Since the whipping boys did not deserve the punishment they got, this place of great privilege (taking punishment in the place of the future king) was considered a high honor.  The whipping boy was usually rewarded with titles and property.  He was basically set for life because of the beatings he accepted in the place of the prince.  It’s a bit hard for us to understand such a concept since I expect we all took our own punishment during childhood for the things that we did wrong.  But it is this very concept which our Savior Jesus exemplified when He came to this earth to receive punishment in our place.  He was the Perfect Lamb to be sacrificed for the sins of mankind, absolutely without any sin and having lived sinless his entire life.  Since He was perfect, He could take on the sins of everyone else.  No one else could take his position of receiving punishment for others since all other men and women were born into sin and deserved the punishment for their sins.  Being full of sin from our very birth, then we all owe a great debt from the very beginning.  Since we are already indebted from our birth, there is no way we could pay for our own sin and also pay for someone else’s sin.  But Jesus, being without sin, could do this very thing, paying for someone else’s sin.

Isaiah 53:5 tells us, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”  Jesus took our wounds upon Himself.  He took our place and accepted our punishment upon the cross.  In effect, Jesus became our “whipping boy.”  He has paid a great debt for each and every one of us, a debt that we could not pay ourselves and a debt that we will never be able to pay back.  But God does not expect repayment of this debt.  He has given freely of this gift of His son.  And His Son, Jesus, also gave freely of Himself, expecting no repayment for this gift of love.  The only thing that God asks from us in return, is the willing submission of our hearts, souls, and lives to Him and to His Plan of Salvation and Payment for the sin debt which we cannot pay ourselves.  The debt of our own sin is so great a debt that we cannot even pay for our own sin.  But if we give God the simple gift of submission and the gift of our hearts every day of our lives, God will pour out the windows of Heaven with blessings that will astound us.  God loves us more than we will ever be able to understand and wants to bless us, but we must submit to Him to unlock these great blessings.

I pray that, if you don’t know Him as your Savior, that you would set that right today by asking Him into your heart.  If you already know Him, I pray that you would give Him the gift of your heart each and every day so that He can bless you in return. 



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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 


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