Monday, November 2, 2020

Frozen in Time

By David Bragg

     On December 24, 1929 Charlie brought his entire family to town. Then Charlie, his wife and seven children (ages 17 years to 4 months) purchased new clothes and posed for a family portrait. This involved no small expense for a struggling North Carolina tenant farming family. It is that portrait one historian described as being "frozen in time" (Unmasked History Magazine).
    The next day was Christmas. For some unknown reason Charlie sent his sixteen-year-old son Arthur on an errand. Then one by one he killed his wife and six children. Each was posed with arms crossed and pillows (or rocks for those found outside) under their heads. Then Charlie set off into the woods where he took his own life.
    History is filled with senseless, violent crimes. These struggle with each other to shock and show how deep human depravity can go. But all these pales in significance to that one single crime that is "frozen in time" by the inspired writers of the four Gospels. That moment has since been immortalized in countless songs of praise and devotion. When those Roman soldiers pounded those three nails, impaling Jesus to the cross, the history witnessed the world’s greatest crime. His great suffering brings us a “great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3).
- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or his blog:

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