The lyrics below are from the soundtrack of "Les Miserables". As this classic story goes, Jean Valjean has been hiding in the open for years. His life is perfect until a man is found that is mistaken for Valjean. This innocent man is hauled to court to be dealt out the justice (or injustice) that was due Valjean. And although Valjean has avoided the reckoning for years, and this is his opportunity to close the door on his past, he is tormented by the thought of an innocent stranger bearing his own punishment.
"He thinks that man is me.He knew him at a glance!
That stranger he has foundThis man could be my chance! Why should I save his hide?Why should I right this wrong?
When I have come so farAnd struggled for so long? If I speak, I am condemned.If I stay silent, I am damned! I am the master of hundreds of workers.They all look to me.
How can I abandon them?How would they liveIf I am not free? If I speak, I am condemned.If I stay silent, I am damned!
Who am I?
Can I condemn this man to slavery?Pretend I do not feel his agony?
This innocent who bears my face?Who goes to judgement in my place.
Who am I?
Can I conceal myself for evermore?Pretend I'm not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die
Be no more than an alibi?
Must I lie?
How can I ever face my fellow men?How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I knowI made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on Who am I? Who am I?
I am Jean Valjean!
And so Javert, you see it's true
That man bears no more guilt than you!
Who am I?
Valjean's predicament is our own. Hiding from our own personal death sentence, we struggle with an innocent man's punishment. Only this innocent man is the Son of God.
Would that I should be so tormented and shamed by the thought of the innocent Jesus taking my place, bearing my death, my punishment, my justice. Who Am I? Why would He do such a thing? It is done. I can not undo it. He was tortured, ridiculed, slain. For me? Who Am I that He would do such a thing? He voluntarily did all this for me. It wasn't a mistake in identity. It was purposeful, planned and carried out. His death gives me freedom. His death gives me life. Who Am I? He says I am the redeemed, blood bought, child of God. Who Am I? How can I live with what He has done? Why did He do it? I'm unworthy of salvation. My sin is with no justification. He says "He who believes on Me will be saved." He says "Your sin is forgiven. Go and sin no more." Who Am I? I am forgiven, redeemed, adopted into the family of the one and only gracious omnipotent God that is "I AM". I am created for the purpose of relationship with the Lord of all creation. I am a mouthpiece that shouts the name of JESUS! He doesn't imprison me and give me a number for identification. He sets me free and names me with a name known only to Him and to me. Who am I? I am the one that is asking "Are you living in condemnation? Do you know Jesus or are you hiding from Him? Who are YOU?"