Aramac is a small town in Central Queensland with a very interesting history. Originally it had the name Marathon, but that was changed in 1875. Captain Starlight once roamed these parts and became one of Australia's most famous bushrangers. Aramac was also smack in the middle of the shearers strike of 1891-2. However many people have never heard about the Mailman's Gorge massacre that took place near Aramac in the late 1860's.
There seem to be some conflicting versions, but the story goes something like this. In 1869 a stockman from Aramac Station was speared to death by local Iningai aboriginals. Up to this point the indigenous people and the Europeans had kind of ignored each other but had started to get in each other's way. We don't know what premeditated the spearing but at that point it was decided to take revenge. It seems that both Government Troopers and also other workers on Aramac Station decided to pursue the aboriginal group.
They caught up to the aboriginals at Mailman's Gorge. Mailman's Gorge was used by Cobb & Co as a horse paddock. Over 200 hectares (500 acres) is enclosed by steep sandstone cliffs with an entrance narrow enough to be closed by sliprails. It was here that the mailman kept a change of horses and camped overnight. The natural gorge was perfect for keeping the horses in. The nearby caves also have since shown to have been full of aboriginal artwork.
Once they had the aboriginals - they killed them all. Reports vary as to whether it was 25 or 40 who died that day. It is a sad reflection on the misunderstanding between people and how easy it is to resort to violence.
Here is a picture of the site of the massacre.
Who is to Blame? Who was Right? Who Was Wrong?
Is it the fault of the aboriginals who attacked first, or the stockmen who took revenge. Was the revenge actually justice or was it injustice. Was killing 25 people the right response for the death of 1?
Humans love to pin the blame. We love to know whose fault something is and make them pay. We love justice. When a guilty person gets what they deserve there is a sense inside of us that knows the right thing happened. When a criminal escapes we feel betrayed as though it is unfair. That is why when criminals on death row in the USA get executed, their families of their victims go to watch. It helps them feel closure and that justice has been served.
One Day in the Future:
At some point you and I will pass from this life too and we will stand before an Almighty God to give an account of our lives. We will have to explain what we did and why. Our lives will be examined in comparison to God's moral Law, the ten commandments. If you have been a good person you have nothing to fear, but if you have broken the Law of God there will be a debt to pay.
If God isn't the most important thing in your life you have broken the first commandment. If you have used God's name as a cuss word, you've broken the third. If you have lied (even little fibs) you have broken the ninth and if you have stolen anything (even if its small) you have broken the eighth. Jesus said that looking at a woman and thinking of sex with her is the same as committing adultery. In other words, breaking the 7th commandment. He also said that hating someone is the same as murder, which is breaking commandment number 6. If you examine the ten commandments properly, you'll realise that you have an addiction to doing what you want, and ignoring God and his requirements completely. If you have broken these commandments (and everyone has) you are a liar, a thief, a murderer and an adulterer in your heart.
So when the time comes to stand before God and give an account of your life, how will you explain your disregard for God and his laws. Imagine standing in front of a Policeman trying to talk him out of giving you a speeding fine. What if you say something like "I'm a good person and there are lots of other people worse than me?" It won't work. Excuses like this don't carry any weight with the Police and they certainly doesn't with God.
Some people say "But God is a good God" - and so He is. That is exactly the reason why sin will be punished. A good judge cannot turn a blind eye to wrong - that that would be a miscarriage of justice.
The Bible says that punishment for breaking God's laws is eternity in a place called Hell. Not the fun hell you hear your friends laugh about, a much more horrible place. I don't like thinking about it.
But finally John 3:16 makes sense. "For God so loved the world that he sent his son (Jesus, who was crucified even though innocent) so that whoever trusts in him will not perish."
If you've ever had a speeding ticket, you'll know that it has to be paid. You can pay it yourself, or someone else can for you. In the same way, your debt towards God has to be paid, and either you will pay it yourself or you can hand your life over to Christ in exchange for his offer to pay it for you.
Jesus gave up his life when he was crucified. This was a payment to take our punishment. Jesus was born from a virgin (that's wild) and because of that and his genuinly good life, he was the only perfect human being. So he became the only candidate who could "pay your fine" if you accept it and give your life up to him. It's a swap, his life for yours.
The only escape is found in Christ. You must do 2 things: First you need help - you need to come to Jesus and trust him and be willing to follow him. Secondly you need to turn yourself around, to do what is called repentance. Start considering God and his requirements, put behind you the selfishness and find out what God wants from you and do that. Are you willing to become a follower of Jesus Christ, and turn around and start doing what He wants?
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