The Hero Who Died

hero who died

From the the book, Mightier Than a Lion. Find links to three more stories in the collection here.

They were very ignorant. They did not know how to hunt wild pig, build a thatched roof, or
say even the simplest things. No one could guess why they had come.

Kupsy liked to follow them and watch their odd ways. They always carried a
small rectangular object with markings on it.

Slowly the pale strangers learned the words of Kupsy’s language. They told stories of their village called America, which was very, very big. They spoke longingly of food called “pizza,” but Kupsy
could not imagine any- thing tastier than the mealworms on his palm-leaf

Strangest of all was their talk of God. “God is the great Creator of all
things,” they said. They had come to Kupsy’s village to tell them about

Kupsy was not sure he wanted to know about this Creator God. The village
already lived in daily fear of the evil spirits and had to offer sacrifices
to appease them. His own mother was killed be- cause of superstitions.
Would this new God add to their burdens? Will He require death? he

“God is not like the evil spirits,” the man said when Kupsy asked his
questions. “The Creator is kind and loves people. Tomorrow I will tell the
village about Him.”

The next morning, by the time the white man arrived with his Book of
markings, hundreds of people—everyone in the village—had gathered to

“Long ago, in the beginning . . . ”

The man talked for a long time, but nobody got up to leave. He spoke of God
creating all things—the trees and flowers and animals and even people. When
he stopped, the villagers begged to hear more.

“I will tell you more tomorrow,” he promised.

Day after day the man spoke the God-talk from his Book. Night after night
everyone in the village talked about the stories and what they thought
would happen next.

When the man told them about Jesus, the Son sent from God to live as a man
on earth, Kupsy felt the excitement run through the village like a lightning bolt. “Jesus
is the Savior!” someone exclaimed joyfully. “The Deliverer promised from
the beginning.” Kupsy listened with happiness as the man spoke of Jesus
doing miracles. The lame stood up and walked, and the blind could see
again. What a hero!

The following morning everyone assembled in the open area with
anticipation. “Jesus was betrayed by one of His own followers. He was sold,
beaten, and killed,” the man said.

Kupsy heard wailing behind him. He wanted to wail too. “How could this
happen?” he whispered between his teeth. “how could people kill Jesus?” He
had never done anything wrong.

The man said Jesus died willingly to take the punishment for sin—his and
the other villagers’ sins.

Kupsy hung his head. Why had the man given them hope only now to tell them
that that hope was gone? Sorrow filled the air as thick as a cloud. Jesus
was dead. All was lost.

But the man was not finished. “Women went to where Jesus had been buried,
but they could not find His body.”

Kupsy sat up straighter. Jesus was missing? Could it be . . . ?

The man held up his Book and said with a huge smile, “Jesus came alive
again! He was more powerful than death. Jesus was the perfect Lamb
sacrificed in your place.”

“I believe!” one man shouted.

Others stood and spoke. “I believe!” they said.

The man’s face was lit with joy. “If you believe,” he said, “then your sins
are forgiven.”

Normally, the people of Kupsy’s tribe were quiet and sat still, but a
village woman rose up and waved her hands and said, “Ee-taow!” (It
is good! It is true!)

“Ee-taow!” A man rose to his feet and jumped up and down. Kupsy grinned and
stood. By the time he said, “It is good!” so many people were up and shouting, Kupsy
could not even hear his own rejoicing.

For hours the villagers jumped and rejoiced and sang out praise. That day
almost every person in the village believed the message in the Book of God!

In the middle of the joyful shouting the man got everyone’s attention and
asked, “When will you go and tell others this great news?”

Other villages? Even enemy tribes?
Kupsy looked around. Will anyone answer?

A village man came forward and said, “We will go.”

People all around him nodded and agreed. “We’ll go.”

“But we don’t know how,” Kupsy said.

“That is all I need to know,” the man said. “I will show you how.”

Big smiles appeared, and the jumping and rejoicing started up again! Kupsy
added his shouts to the others. He knew that, as soon as the first group
was ready to go, he would be going with them. This news was too wonderful
to keep to themselves! They would go to other villages, and those villages
could go to even farther villages. They would give the good news to the

Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

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The Hero Who Died

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