There is a well-known story told of Napoleon the First's time. In one of the conscriptions, during one of his many wars, a man was balloted as a conscript who did not want to go, but he had a friend who offered to go in his place. His friend joined the regiment in his name, and was sent off to the war. By and by a battle came on, in which he was killed, and they buried him on the battlefield. Some time after the Emperor wanted more men, and by some mistake the first man was balloted a second time. They went to take him but he remonstrated.
"You cannot take me."
"I am dead," was the reply.
"You are not dead; you are alive and well."
"But I am dead," he said.
"Why, man, you must be mad. Where did you die?"
"At such a battle, and you left me buried on such a battle-field."
"You talk like a madman," they cried; but the man stuck to his point that he had been dead and buried some months.
"You look up your books," he said, "and see if it is not so." They looked, and found that he was right. They found the man's name entered as drafted, sent to the war, and marked off as killed.
"Look here," they said, "you didn't die; you must have got some one to go for you; it must have been your substitute."
"I know that," he said; "he died in my stead. You cannot touch me: I died in that man, and I go free. The law has no claim against me."
They would not recognize the doctrine of substitution, and the case was carried to the Emperor. But he said that the man was right, that he was dead and buried in the eyes of the law, and that France had no claim against him.
This story may or may not be true, but one thing I know is true; Jesus Christ suffered death for the sinner, and those who accept Him are free from the law.
D. L. Moody