Died in My Place
During the Napoleonic Wars, men were conscripted into the French army by a lottery system. If your name was drawn, you had to go off to battle. But in the rare case that you could get someone else to take your place, you were exempt.
On one occasion, the authorities came to a certain man and told him that his name had been drawn. But he refused to go, saying, “I was killed two years ago.” At first, they questioned his sanity, but he insisted that this was, in fact, the case. He claimed that the records would show that he had been conscripted two years previously and that he had been killed in action. “How can that be?” they questioned. “You are alive now.” He explained that when his name came up, a close friend said to him, “You have a large family, but I’m not married, and nobody is dependent on me. I’ll take your name and address and go in your place.” The records upheld the man’s claim. The case was referred to Napoleon himself, who decided that the country had no legal claim on that man. He was free because another man had died in his place.
Jesus Christ bore your sin on the cross, but you must take Him up on the offer. If your trust Him as the one who died in your place, you will be delivered from the penalty of sin which God justly must impose. That’s what Peter means when he says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross.”
This is the message we share with the lost. Let’s be faithful in declaring that message.