“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 ESV)
We will soon enter the Passion Week and reflect upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the center of this glorious gospel is the substitutionary atonement. On the cross, the Son of God atoned for the sins of His people by taking their place. He paid the debt we owed. He bore the wrath we deserved. He took the judgment we earned.
Isaiah prophesied of Christ’s substitution for us with unmistakeable language (Isa. 53:4-6):
- He bore our griefs
- He carried our sorrows
- He was wounded for our transgressions
- He was crushed for our iniquities
- He was chastised for our peace
- He was whipped for our healing
The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all. For our sins He was crushed by the Father. For our healing He suffered and died.
Jesus took your place. He is your sacrificial Lamb. On the great and final Day of Atonement, the Father sacrificed His own Son to cover your sins forever. His blood cancels the debt and cleanses the guilt of your sin. His death brings you complete and final forgiveness.
It is a great wonder that God Himself took our place and paid the price for our sin. Each one of us who have come to Christ by faith can rightfully say, “He died for me.” The sentence of death pronounced upon us was carried out upon Him. Because of His substitution, He received what we deserved and we received what He deserved:
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)
Everything you need to be right with God was done on your behalf by Christ Jesus. Rest in the sufficiency of your Substitute and praise Him with a thankful heart. The old hymn by Philip Bliss says it so well:
Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood, Seal’d my pardon with His blood; Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Guilty, vile, and helpless we, Spotless Lamb of God was He; Full atonement! can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior!