You have committed crimes.
Not just one. But many.
You have been sentenced to death.
A cruel and slow torture, in which your body will feel excruciating pain. You will suffer for all the wrongs you have done, the laws you have broken, and the acts of disobedience.
You may know you are guilty, but you don’t really care. “So what?” you say out loud, to no one in particular. There’s nobody to hear you, no matter how loud you scream. You’re in a dark dungeon. Absolutely zero light. You haven’t eaten in days. Life has been miserable, but...so what? You have one life and it’s going to end soon anyway.
You hear a key being turned in the lock of your cell door. You clutch your chest as the hinges turn and make your teeth grind with the noise of rusty metal against metal.
A faint light begins to appear as you are escorted down a long tunnel, two heavily armed men on either side of you. You drag your feet, knowing that your time is coming. And even though, seconds before, you could have cared less, the reality of your situation has begun to sink in.
You are going to die.
You squint your eyes as the daylight approaches with every step you take towards the end of the tunnel. You don’t know the last time you’ve seen the sun. But before you can step out into its light, a voice speaks: “Let this one go.”
“But he has been sentence to death as punishment for great crimes,” one of the guards cries out. “Someone has to die!”
“Then let it be Me.”
Silence reigns for a few seconds. You squint your eyes trying to look at the Man who had spoken these words, but the more you try to focus on His face, the harder it was to see. The light seemed to be coming from His very being.
“Very well,” the guard replies, and you suddenly feel the chains being loosed from your wrists and ankles. You fall heavily to the ground, as the chains scatter around you. Your face is on the ground, at eye level with everyone’s feet. There is a pair that looks misplaced among the grimy, muddy feet of everyone - including your own. They are clean, beautiful feet. And they slowly step towards you. Your eyes close as the light becomes brighter. And then you feel a touch. Not on your hand, or your face, but on your chest, above your heart.
“I love you, even though you may not love Me. I am taking your place, and dying so that you might live. You are Mine.”
These words were not said audibly, but yet you heard them. In your head.
And with that, the beautiful feet walk away, the gentle hand is removed from your chest, yet the touch lingers. Warm and powerful against your beating heart. You draw in a deep breath, your lungs gasping for air as if you have been underwater for long minutes on end.
It’s as if you have come alive...