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Nicky Gumbel tells this story in Alpha of two men who grew up as best friends, except that their lives took divergent paths. One became a judge, and the other a criminal. At one point the criminal ends up in the Judge’s court. He is obviously guilty, but he was the judge’s friend. If the judge let him off, he would not be fulfilling his role of dispensing justice. So what he does is he sentences his friend to the appropriate fine for his crime, he then steps down from the bench, takes off his robe, and writes his friend a check for the amount of the fine in full. This is what God does in Jesus. He sentences us to death for our sins, but then steps down from heaven and pays for our sins in full with his death.

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