The Brother Who Died for Me

by | May 29, 2001 | Love, Persecution, Sacrifice

In the olden days there were two brothers, the elder good and devout, the younger a libertine who reveled with unsavory companions. The elder brother prayed for the younger and often begged him to change his life, but all seemed in vain.

One night as the elder brother sat in his study reading, the younger brother rushed into his room, begging, “Save me! The police are after me! I have killed a man.” There were bloodstains on his clothes.

The older brother grasped the situation immediately and said, “I will save you. Let us change clothes.” He took the bloodstained suit of the criminal and gave him his white robe.

The two had barely dressed when the police arrived. They had pursued the criminal from the place where the deed had been committed and seized the brother in the bloodstained garment.

Brought before the judge, he pleaded guilty, saying, “I bear the whole responsibility for the crime.” Faced with the evidence before him-the pursuit, the blood, the confession-the judge had no doubt. He sentenced the man to death, then asked him his final wish. “Only one,” said the supposed criminal. “I want my brother to receive this letter, which I have prepared for him, at the very moment I am hanged.” The wish was granted.

The next day, his brother received the letter. Opening it, he read: “My beloved, at this very moment, I die in your place, in your bloodstained clothes, for your crime-and I am happy to offer this sacrifice on your behalf.

“But I would like you, in the white clothes I gave you, to lead a life of righteousness and purity. I have no other desire!”

The younger brother, on reading these words, was taken by remorse. He ran to stop the execution-but it was too late. Then he ran to the judge to confess his crime, but the judge would not listen to him. “A murder was committed; it has been expiated. What was between you two brothers is of no interest to us.”

After that, as often as his former comrades in revelry called the young lad to drinking parties and loose living, he would say, “In the white clothes left to me by the brother who gave his life for me, I can no longer do the evil deeds I did before.”

Wurmbrand, Richard. From Suffering to Triumph! Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993, p. 107-109. Used By Permission The Voice of the Martyrs


The Brother Who Died for Me