Illustration: Redemption

During the American Civil War, Northern men could pay a substitute to serve in the army in their place. A person could pay $300 to have someone take his spot in the draft. Even future President Grover Cleveland made use of this exemption. As a symbolic gesture, President Lincoln paid for a substitute even though Lincoln was well past draft age. The man was John Summerfield Staples from Pennsylvania. Staples actually survived the war, but saw many hardships and suffered several maladies because of his military service. All of us have had a substitute. Jesus took our place on the cross. He died for us and did it voluntarily. We didn't and couldn't pay him back. All that is left to do is give Him our lives.