A young soldier had been brought up on trial and was given the death penalty due to his crime of treason. He was pronounced guilty and when the judge handed down the sentence, the soldier’s brother asked if he could approach the bench. His brother needed some help to approach the bench because he had also served in the country’s military and in battle had sustained terrible injuries that resulted in the loss of his arms. This brother stood before the judge and held up what was left of his arms. He pleaded for his brother’s life and begged the judge to reconsider the verdict, not because of what his brother had done, but because of what he had done. He confessed that his brother was guilty of treason and that he deserved death, but asked this:
“Because of what I’ve done for my country, would you please spare my brother’s life?”
Shockingly, the judge agreed. Of course, this was completely unfair, but it was mercy. Here’s the most unfair part: the hero, the brother who lost his arms did not have to serve any penalty for his treasonous brother’s crimes. But when Jesus stands in front of the Father and He speaks of you, He says, “this one’s mine. I’ve already paid the price. I’ve already done the time. I’ve already died the death. And now this one. This one’s mine. This one is in me and God.”
The just and merciful judge says it’s okay. That is exactly what Jesus has done for you! The price has already been paid. A sacrifice has already been made for you and because of that, you and I are free to joyfully follow in the steps of Jesus.