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This parable (story with a lesson in it) is told by Araba from Cape Coast, Ghana

Once there was a prince who often went out for a walk near his father's palace. He liked best to be by the railway line so that he could watch the trains go by. One day he was out walking near the railway as usual, when he saw something that looked different about the railway bridge. He went closer so that he could see and then realised that the railway line on the bridge was broken.

The prince knew that the next train was about to come with thousands of people on it! He thought, "I must do something quickly or there will be a terrible accident. Many people could be killed or hurt. There is no time to get help!"

Red for danger

The Prince was wearing a white shirt. He decided to take it off and wave it in front of the train. But he thought, "I cannot do that because the people in the train will think I am waving the shirt to show victory. White is the colour for victory. The colour for danger is red."

The prince thought hard as he had nothing red with him. Then he had an idea. He would cut himself with something sharp and soak his shirt in his own blood. Quickly he found something he could use and he stabbed himself. Soon he was losing a lot of blood. He soaked his shirt. With the little strength he had left, he waved it at the on-coming train. The train driver saw the red shirt and stopped the train. The driver and passengers got out. They went up to the Prince, who was dying. He said to them, "Look, I have saved you with my blood."

Then he died because he had lost so much blood to save the people.

It's the same

This sad story reminds us of the Saviour Jesus, who gave his life to save people from the punishment that we all deserve for our wrong doing. He never did anything wrong. But the religious leaders hated him so much that they condemned him to die on a wooden cross – the punishment at that time for very bad people. When Jesus died, blood flowed out of his body. Yet he was a man who never did anything wrong.

We do not have to pay the punishment for all our wrong doings, because Jesus has paid it for us. But Jesus' story does not end with sadness.

He did die, yet three days later he came alive again. Death was not the end for him and it does not need to be the end for us. God promises us a wonderful life with him in heaven, if we ask him to forgive us for all our wrong doings. We can begin this wonderful life with him right now. He will be our friend and helper now and forever.