A pastor in a small New England town entered his church one Easter morning with a rusty, old, bent bird cage. He set the bird cage on the pulpit causing a few raised eyebrows. Then he began to speak.
“Yesterday morning, I came across a young boy who had 3 scared birds in a cage shivering from the cold. I asked him, what do you got there? ‘Just some dumb old birds!’ ‘What are you going to do with them?’ ‘Tease em, play with em, and pull out all their feathers!’ ‘Then what are you going to do?’ ‘Feed em to my cat, he likes birds!’”
I went silent for a moment and asked, ‘How much would you like for those birds?’ ‘Oh, you don’t want these, they’re ugly and can’t even sing!’ ‘How much?’ came my definite reply. The boy thought for a moment and then said, ‘$10.’ I reached into my pocket and gave the boy $10. The boy took the money and then vanished. I then picked up the cage, walked to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a small grassy spot. He opened the door by gently tapping the bars to the cage, and coaxed the birds out into the grass.”
That explained the bird cage on the pulpit. Then he proceeded to tell this story...
“One day, Satan and Jesus were walking and Satan had just come out of the Garden of Eden. He was gloating and boasting. ‘Yes sir, I caught me a whole world full of people. Set a trap that they just couldn’t resist. Yep, got them all.’ ‘What are you going to do with them,’ came the reply. ‘Gonna have some fun with them; teach them to hate, hurt, and kill each other.’ ‘Then what are you going to do?’ ‘Oh, then I’ll destroy them and bring them down into my kingdom.’
Jesus paused. ‘How much do you want for them?’ ‘Oh, you don’t want them. They’ll just hate you, spit on you, mock you and kill you. They don’t want you.’ Jesus paused and looked straight at Satan, ‘how much?’ Satan suddenly realized, looked at Jesus and sneered, ‘All your tears, all your blood, all your footsteps, all your strengths, all your life.’
Jesus paid the price, picked up the cage and opened the door”