This is our weekly devotion written by my mother, Estelene. If you would like to read more of her devotions, visit the Faith page.
Wonder if I had told you that I had read a story about a man who had tortured and slaughtered at least fifty men, women, boys, and girls over a period of twenty years. The man had been found guilty and was on death row. After being incarcerated for over thirty years, the seventy year old man’s day of execution had arrived.
Considering that this took place many years ago, it wasn’t an execution by lethal injection or even electrocution. It was a form of execution that today would be considered as cruel and unusual punishment. But the people of that time did not care. They wanted justice to be served.
The prison guards took the man from his prison cell and led him to the place where he was to be executed. A large crowd of spectators watched and screamed words of hate as he was brought before them. A man from another country who possessed a gentle spirit yelled out, “Stop.”
The crowd became silent. The young man stepped forward and stood in front of the crowd. “I will take the punishment for this man.”
The crowd remained silent in disbelief. One of the guards spoke up, “Sir, do you know what you are saying? This man has committed a heinous crime and is being executed.”
“Yes, sir, I do.”
“But you have done nothing wrong. Why would you die a terrible death to save another man’s life?”
“Because I love this man. The only way he can be set free is if I take his punishment.”
The guard said, “Very well. Set the prisoner free and bring to me the man who has freely chosen to take his place.”
The chains that once held the old man bound, fell to the ground. The young man was taken, beaten and executed.
You might be saying, “Who would do something like that?” Did I mention the name of the man from the crowd who said he would die for the prisoner? His name is Jesus. The prisoner is you. The prisoner is me. The story didn’t happen exactly how I told it, but the principle is the same. Our sins may not be as atrocious as the man in my illustration, but they are pieces of evidence that are as damaging to our case proving us as guilty and as deserving of death.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God took upon himself the sins of the entire world from the beginning of time until the end of time. The shame of it all is when Christ needed his father the most, God turned his face away from him. He could not look upon his son because of the world’s sin that was upon him.
Praise God, Jesus conquered death and sin and arose from the grave! Now he is interceding for us to the Father in heaven.
We don’t have to be condemned to death. We can have life through Jesus Christ. Paul wrote in Romans 8:1-2,
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”