By Johnny Hester
An anecdotal account relates how Joe, the governor’s most trusted assistant, died in his sleep one night. The governor had for many years depended on Joe for advice on every subject, from pending legislation to wardrobe decisions. Joe had been his closest friend. It was understandable that the governor didn’t take kindly to the droves of ambitious office seekers who wanted Joe’s job. “They don’t even have the decency to wait until the man is buried,” he muttered. At the funeral, one eager beaver made his way to the governor’s side: “Governor,” he whispered, “is there a chance that I could take Joe’s place?” “Certainly,” the governor replied. “But you’d better hurry. The undertaker is almost ready to close the coffin lid.”
Most of us can look around and find a person of whom we might say, “I would like to take his place.” But have you ever made that statement regarding someone who had died, or was about to die. Would anyone want to trade places with someone like that? Yet that is precisely what Jesus Christ did for us. God’s love is difficult to comprehend, for Jesus changed places with us. He died an agonizing death, that we might escape spiritual death and receive eternal life! The prophet Isaiah foretold this amazing exchange:
He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:5–6).
O what matchless love the Lord has lavished upon us! May our lives reflect gratitude for the One who “took our place.”
- Johnny Hester preaches for the Matthews Church of Christ in Matthews, MO. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org