During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, one mornings executions began with three man: a rabbi, a Catholic priest, and a rationalist skeptic.
The rabbi was marched up onto the platform first. There, facing the gullotine, he was asked if he had any last words. And the rabbi cried out, "I believe in the one and only true God, and He will save me." The executioner then positioned the rabbi below the blade, set the block above his neck, and pulled the cord to set the terrible instrument in motion. The heavy cleaver plunged downward, searing the air. But then, abruptly, it stopped. A crack just a few inches above the would be victim's neck. To which the rabbi said, "I told you so."
"It's a miracle!" gasped the crowd. And the executioner had to agree, letting the rabbi go.
Next, in line was the priest. Asked for his final words, he declared, "I believe in Jesus Christ the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who will rescue me in my hour of need." The executioner then positioned this man beneath the blade. And he pulled the cord! Again, the blade flew downward then a thump!! Crack!!.....stopping just short of its mark once more.
"Another miracle!!" gasped the crowd. And the executioner had to agree, and let him go as well.
Now it was the skeptics turn. "What final words have you to say?" he asked. But the skeptic did not hear. Staring intently at the ominus engine of death, he seemed lost. Not until the executioner poked him in the ribs and the question was asked again did he reply.
"Oh, I see your problem," the skeptic said pointing, "You have got a blockage in the gear assembly, right there!!"