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This is a parable (story with a meaning) by Joseph Maingu who lives in Tanzania. His story helps us to understand that Jesus Christ was killed to take the punishment for all our wrong doing (sin) and how we can be sure he forgives us when we ask him.

Once upon a time, there was a young boy called Ayubu who lived in Tanzania. A man asked him, "How do you know that God has forgiven all your sin? Are you really sure?"

How are you sure?

Ayubu answered, "Yes I am sure. I became really sure after my mother was stung by a bee."

"When your mother got stung by a bee? What do you mean by that?" the man asked.

Ayubu said, "My mother told me about Jesus Christ and what he did for me when he was killed by being nailed to a wooden cross. I did not understand. Then, one day, I was walking in our garden near to the house. I was looking at the trees and flowers. My mother was working in the kitchen.

"Suddenly I saw a bee coming near to me. I tried to chase it away, but it would not go. I was afraid it would sting me, so I tried to hit it. But it came nearer and nearer, flying around my head. I ran indoors to my mother. Mother took me in her arms, but, when she did that, the bee stung her arm. At once her arm began to swell up. She said to me, 'Don't be afraid, this bee can't do anything to you now. Its sting is in my arm. A bee has only one sting and he has lost it. You are safe.'

Jesus has taken the sting

"From that time on," said Ayubu, "I understood that Jesus has taken the 'sting', that is – the punishment for our sin, away from us. The Bible tells us that the punishment for sin for every person is death.* When he died, Jesus took the punishment himself, just as my mother took the sting from the bee. I did not have to suffer the hurt from the bee sting, and we do not have to suffer the shame and sadness our sins bring. Jesus died instead of us. Now he can be our friend and give us a gift – life with him that lasts for ever."

* "Sin pays its wage (punishment) – death; but God's free gift is eternal life (life which lasts for ever) through Jesus Christ."
You can find these words in the part of the Bible called Letter to the Romans, chapter 6 and verse 23