In Broken Chains, Doug Batchelor wrote about Filipino identical twins, who made their living in Manila by driving jeepneys, the local taxi. One was married and had children; the other was single.
One day, the married brother accidentally struck and killed a tourist with his taxi. Accused of reckless driving, he was sentenced to 20 years in a notorious Manila prison, leaving his wife and children without an income.
His twin came to visit him in prison. He said, “Brother, your family desperately needs you. Put on my clothes and take my visitor’s pass, and I will put on your prison uniform and serve the rest of your sentence. Go to your family.” So, while the guards were not looking, the twins exchanged clothes, and the married brother walked out of the prison unchallenged./1
Every illustration of Jesus’ death for mankind is weak and insufficient. But in the selflessness of one person’s sacrifice, like the twin in the story, we feel a twinge of the Savior’s atonement, a glimpse of the giddy freedom available to us.
So many points in this story fail to communicate the spiritual truth. The twin broke the law by switching places with his brother; Jesus fulfilled the justice of God by taking our place. The single twin traded places with one person, his beloved brother; Jesus assumed the punishment of a rebellious world.
Still, the illustration makes us feel a bit of the wonder of redemption at the Cross. For that, we can be thankful.
And ponder again the meaning of the atonement, when Jesus took our place and let us go free.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24, ESV).
An illustration makes us feel a bit of the wonder of redemption at the Cross.