During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier's fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands.

Cromwell's heart was touched and he said, "Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!"

The bell sounding the time of our execution will never ring for those who trust Christ. He took our place. He bore our punishment. And even now He continually intercedes on our behalf.

As told in Steven J. Lawson, Absolutely Sure (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 1999).

Brian Hedges is Senior Pastor of Fulkerson Park Baptist Church in Niles, MI.