The Peace Child

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The Sawi people group of Netherlands Guinea has a tradition of betrayal called “tuwi asonai man.” 
In this practice, warriors persuade a man to become their friend, with the intention of killing and eating him later. The more complicated the plan, the more honorable the warrior becomes among his own village. Then, the men of the victim’s village begin to plan their revenge. Such murders exist in a cycle of violence within the Sawi culture. [1]
Just imagine the shock of missionary couple, Don and Carol Richardson, when they attempted to reach the Sawi with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Richardson tells them stories of the bible, until he realizes with alarm that the Sawi see Judas as a hero for his friendship and then betrayal of Jesus.” [2] Frustrated with seeing the constant killings in the village, the missionaries announced to the Sawi that they could no longer bear it and that they are now moving to another village. 

A peace child ceremony. Image credit

Afraid to lose their source of steel tools and other supplies, the Sawi performed a “peace child” ceremony before the Richardsons to convince them to stay with them.
Each village presents the enemy with an infant as a peace child. As long as the child lives, they explain to Richardson, the village lives at peace. In the case of an offense, someone may plead the peace child and strife will cease.

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Richardson seizes upon the concept as a redemptive analogy… He calls Jesus Christ as the perfect peace child. He explains that any man who accepts God’s peace child never needs to offer a human peace child again. [3]
We were God’s enemies. But the death of Christ on the cross brought reconciliation between us and God. And His resurrection from the dead proves that God accepted His sacrifice. 

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“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10, ESV) And, when we sin, we may plead for forgiveness in the name of our Peace Child.
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. (1 John 2:1-2, NLT) 
Brothers and sisters, our Lord Jesus indeed is the ultimate, unique Peace Child.

[1] “Peace Child Summary & Study Guide Description,” BookRags, http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-peace-child/#gsc.tab=0, accessed March 12, 2015. Emphasis added.

[2] Ibid. Emphasis added.

[3] Ibid. Emphasis added. 



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