I want to stand where you're standing

There is, allegedly, a gravestone somewhere in America that has this inscription:
"I want to stand where you're standing"
Beneath these words the story is told of a young man who was part of a firing squad assigned to kill someone found guilty of treason during the American Civil War. 
The young man loaded his gun and raised it to take aim, he closed one eye and focused the other on his target. His eye blinked in shock as it met the gaze of the guilty man tied to a post.  Immediately he lowered his rifle and walked over to his commanding officer and told him:
"I know this man, he has a wife and children. If I kill him I will be destroying, not only his life, but theirs too. I won't do it."
But the punishment for treason was death. The price had to be paid.
So the young man walked over to the traitor and uttered these fateful words:
"I want to stand where you're standing"
As a result the prisoner was released and the young man was put in his place. The guilty man got to return to his wife and children, the young man's life ended that day.
Whether this story is true or not it illustrates what it was that Jesus did at the cross. We are like the man with a host of rifles aimed at his chest. We are guilty of sinning against the God who made the universe. 
But, like the merciful soldier, God, in His grace, sent us His Son to say to us:
"I want to stand where you're standing"
Jesus took us out of the firing line and put Himself in our place. As a result we get to stand where Jesus stands, in God's love and favour, not because of what we have done but because of what He has achieved through dying on the cross.
(Hat Tip to The Good Book Company booklet "The Real Jesus" by Rico Tice and Barry Cooper)
Aaron Williamson, 09/11/2012