Flak Vest Devotion #28 -- Tours on the Terrazo

Tony Barnes By Tony Barnes, 23rd Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/y4ze4zpm/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

For an Air Force Academy cadet, punishment used to involve demerits and tours around the Terrazo. Fortunately, in Christ there are no punishments, demerits or laps around the church.

Flak Vest Devotion #28 -- Tours on the Terrazo

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness.” I Peter 2:24a

A cadet at the Air Force Academy has a very hectic schedule especially in the first couple of years. Aside from a full academic load, there are numerous responsibilities within the squadron a cadet is assigned. Before long, he or she will likely have a position of responsibility within that squadron. There will be long hours trying to balance academic requirements with those military responsibilities.

Picture a cadet 20 years ago sitting in a history class listening to a professor drone on about how Sun Tzu’s pre-Christ writings are pertinent to today’s battle field tactics. The late night he spent writing a paper for an economics assignment catches up to him. His eyes begin to flutter while his note taking trails off to random marks on the paper. He is off in his own mental land of pleasant memories.

The cadet suddenly jolts back to reality with the professor chastising him for falling asleep. He will now have 5 demerits and 5 tours around the Terrazzo. Demerits weren’t so bad, but to walk around the massive terrazzo repeatedly was a terrible burden to bear. Though tours around the massive Terrazzo terrace have since vanished in favor of disciplinary counseling and reprimands more common in the “real” Air Force, the message of consequences for violating cadet standards of conduct is crystal clear.

While there are consequences for our sins, God doesn’t require penalty assessments to appease our infractions against Him. If we lie, we don’t have to do 5 laps around the local church building. In Christ, there are no demerits that stack up against us in a divine ledger book. Certainly, we will give an account for how we served the Lord. But, when Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins he proclaimed the Aramaic version of ‘tetelestai’ which is a Greek accounting word for “It is finished” as you might say when a debt has had a final payment made. It was the final word spoken by Jesus Christ and ironically as someone has pointed out, Jesus had to die in order to speak that word accurately.

Christ bore the punishment for your sin. Imagine if a young cadet were to be given 5 demerits and 5 tours around the Terrazzo. Imagine if an upperclassman stepped in and said, “No, I will bear this punishment” and then went and fulfilled the tours and had the demerit added to his record. Though a weak example of what Christ accomplished, it is a picture of what He did on the cross. You have no punishment to bear if you have accepted His free gift of salvation.

Lord, help me to remember that Jesus bore my sins upon the cross. I no longer face punishment for them. Help me to relax in you knowing that I am in a relationship that cannot be changed by the things that I do. Help me to walk in holiness, but when I fail please remind me that I am still accepted in You.


Air Force Academy, Cadet, Sun Tzu, Terrazo, Upperclassman

Meet the author

author avatar Tony Barnes
I am a native Texan who spent 3 years in the Marine Corps Reserves and 25 years on active duty in the Air Force. I have been a Christian since 1985 and am an ordained minister. I am conservative politically and love to study history. I publish a mont...(more)

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author avatar Buzz
24th Oct 2011 (#)

Thanks, Tony, for this wonderful and inspiring post. Praise God.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Oct 2011 (#)

Well done on yet another great page in this series.

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