On trial

My Substitute

When I was a boy, I saw a sight I never can forget—a man tied to a cart, and dragged before the people’s eyes through the streets of my native town, his back torn and bleeding from the lash. It was a shameful punishment. For many offences? No; for ONE offence.

Did any of the townsmen offer to divide the lashes with him? No; he who committed the offence bore the penalty alone.

When I was a student at the University, I saw another sight I can never forget—a man brought out to die. His arms were pinioned, his face was pale as death—thousands of eyes were upon him as he came up from the jail in sight. Did any man ask to die in his place? Did any friend come and loose the rope, and say, “Put it round my neck, and I will die in his stead?” No; he underwent the sentence of the law. For many offenses? No; for ONE offense.

I saw another sight (it matters not when) myself a sinner, standing on the brink of ruin, deserving naught but hell. For one sin? No; for many. Many sins committed against the unchanging laws of God. But again I looked, and saw JESUS, my Substitute, scourged in my stead, and dying on the cross for me. I looked, and cried. I claimed Him as my Saviour, and was forgiven. I realized that He had taken my place—and thanked God for giving Him to die in my stead.

How simple it all becomes when God opens our eyes! The law demands justice; the Gospel delights in mercy, through satisfied justice. Moses blesses the law-doer; Jesus pardons the law-breaker, the guilty, and saves the lost.

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