During the Civil War, a man by the name of George Wyatt was drawn by lot to go to the front. He had a wife and six children. A young man named Richard Pratt offered to go in his stead. He was accepted and joined the ranks, bearing the name and number of George Wyatt. Before long Pratt was killed in action. The authorities later sought again to draft George Wyatt into service. He protested, entering the plea that he had died in the person of Pratt. He insisted that the authorities consult their own records as to the fact of his having died in identification with Pratt, his substitute. Wyatt was thereby exempted as beyond the claims of the law and further service. He had died in the person of his representative. *
George Wyatt could still have fought in the Civil War. He could have gone to the front, forgetting that his substitute had already paid his duty for him. He could have joined the ranks of the 600,000 other men who gave their lives in the conflict. But he didnít need to, his debt to his country had been paid.
We, too, have a debt we can choose to pay, but we don't need to. Our debt is to the Judge of the universe, because we have disobeyed His law (the Ten Commandments). The penalty for this debt is eternal death in the lake of fire. But the good news is that there is a substitute who paid the penalty for us, Jesus Christ. We choose either to accept His death as our substitute or to reject Him and pay the price ourselves. Richard Pratt was the substitute for George Wyatt. Jesus Christ is the substitute for you and me.
Born Crucified, LI. Maxwell, p13
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exalt in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; by which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures, and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve.
For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, W ho hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did entreat you by us: we beg you in Christís behalf, be reconciled to God. For he hath made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit.
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