Our Substitute: Perfect As Divine Only Can Be

Illustration-gray background-Title - Our Substitute-text-Bible verse

God provides a Divine Substitute for humanity in the Gift of His Son. It costs His life to pay the debt of transgressions which we all have incurred.

Christ came into the world to make humans accept the fact that although they have sinned against God, 

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

For God hath made Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.

He engaged in a conflict with the prince of darkness. He was fighting the battle on our behalf and endured the most terrible temptations.

Christ placed Himself in the position of Adam and endured the test where Adam had failed. 

Christ did not fail. Humanity would have been lost had He faltered, yielding to temptation.

Thus He broke the power of Satan over the human race.

By this act He placed humans on a vantage ground, in favor with God.

Therefore, we might overcome on our own account through the merits of Jesus – in His name, and through His grace, even as He did.

He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5.

Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He came as the sinner’s substitute to bear the guilt Himself, which justly belonged to humankind.

Furthermore, He is the mediator for humanity through the perfection of His character. Accepted as such by the Father, He only could save us by imputing to us His righteousness.

Divine Substitute 

In His great love God provides hope for the hopeless, giving His only-begotten Son to bear the sins of the world. Thus He has poured out all Heaven in that One rich gift.

Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Philippians 2:6.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.

All things were created by Him, and for Him; And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. Colossians 1:16, 17

By Him, I say, whether they be things on earth, or things in heaven. Colossians 1:20.

But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:7, 8.

Though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9.

Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, in order that through His incarnation He might uplift the human race. 

He so appreciated the possibility of the human race that He became human’s substitute and surety. 

Thus when we look upon the Divine Savior dying on Calvary we ask: 

Why was this Great Sacrifice made?

And the cross points to the holy Law of God which has been transgressed.  

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Uniting Divinity with humanity 

Christ’s mission was to reconcile God to humankind, and humankind to God – uniting the finite with the Infinite. 

For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell. And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself. Colossians 1:19.

It was in the order of God that Christ should take upon Himself the form and nature of fallen humans, that He might: 

  • be made perfect through suffering, Hebrews 2:10
  • endure Satan’s fierce temptations
  • understand the nature of human’s trials and how to succor those who should be tempted, Hebrews 2:18. 

Thus the faith of humans in Christ as the Messiah was not to rest on the evidence of sight and His personal attraction, but because of the excellence of His character. 

This was the only way the fallen humans may be overcomers through becoming partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4.

Those who thus trusted in the Word of God, would receive the benefits of the teachings of Christ, and His atonement.

Furthermore, Christ came to reveal to sinners the justice and the love of God, that He might give repentance to Israel and remission of sins. Acts 5:31.

When sinners behold: 

  • Jesus on the cross – suffering the guilt of all transgressors, bearing the penalty of sin (not of God)
  • God’s abhorrence of evil and His love for fallen humanity in the manifestation of the death of the cross.

They are led to repent toward God because of their transgression of His Law which is holy, just, and good. 

Furthermore, they exercise faith in Christ, because the Divine Savior has become their substitute. 

Thus to repenting sinners God can show His mercy and truth, and bestow upon them His forgiveness and love. 

The cross convicts of sin

The Divine love of God for fallen humanity (sinners) is expressed in the Gift of His Son. 

He suffered shame and death that they might be ennobled and endowed with everlasting life. 

Could you rightly estimate the value of the highest earthly glory in contrast with the value of the Son of God?

Moreover, how insignificant would appear all the honor that a finite person can bestow to others, whose proud hearts are coveting for the applause and distinction above their fellows, in contrast to the rejected, despised and spit upon, by the very ones whom Jesus came to redeem. 

Christ sacrifice is without a parallel – sincere, devoted and measureless. It meets the emergency of the sinner’s case.

Though sold under sin, You are bought with a Price. For your sake Christ endured the cross.

It awakens respect and reverence for the holy Law of God in the hearts of those who receive Him.

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.

Therefore He gives you power, that through faith in His name you might live.

Your soul is of infinite value, who’s worth can be estimated only by the price paid to ransom you. Therefore, only Calvary explains the true value of your soul.

Furthermore, when we appreciate the sacrifice made on our behalf, we will not plead for the privilege of continuing in transgression. 

We will put away sin, and our hard hearts will melt under the amazing love of Christ for us.

Illustration-dark gray beckground-title-He put away sin sacrificing Himself-text-Bible verse

Christ was made sin for us

But He (Christ) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5.

For He (the Father) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.

This is the mystery of God in the flesh – God in Christ, and Divinity in humanity. 

Moreover, Christ bowed down in humility, that in His exaltation to the throne of God, He might also exalt those who believe in Him to a seat with Him upon His throne. 

The heavens were opened unto Him (Jesus), and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him;

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16, 17

Thus God spoke to Jesus as our representative. 

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1.

With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. 

He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6

God’s will is to cleanse us from sin and to enable us to live a holy life. 

Christ gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. Galatians 1:4

Therefore, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

He is the Sin-bearer

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Christ) the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

Christ Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Matthew 8:17

Therefore, as the sin-bearer He takes away the sin and rescues the sinner from her/his morbid spiritual condition.

Thus as they come to Christ, the repenting souls lay hold by faith of the provision made to save them – not in their sin, but from their sin. 

For He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was stricken. Isaiah 53:8

Christ was glorified in His humiliation when the dark cloud that seemed to enshroud the cross was pierced by a bright and living light. 

He was a Conqueror, though He appeared to be conquered in the eyes of humans. Moreover, He was acknowledged as the Sin Bearer. 

Humans were allowed to exercise power over His human body. Nevertheless, they cannot rob Him of His power to forgive sins. 

In dying He bears testimony to His own Divinity and to the glory of the Father. 

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. Isaiah 59:1

It is His royal right to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. Hebrews 7:25.

Furthermore, it is for us that the Son of God:

  • consents to bear the burden of guilt 
  • offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice 
  • endures the wrath of divine justice
  • for thy sake becomes sin Himself.

Illustration-gray beckground-title-God has made Him to be sin for us-text-Bible verse

The immutable Law of God

The law of love is the foundation of God’s government. Love and joy flow out from Him to all His creatures.

God has granted freedom of will to all. He endowed mankind with the capacity to appreciate His character.

Furthermore, with the ability to love Him, and to choose His service.

God did not change His Law but He sacrificed Himself in Christ, for human’s redemption. 

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. 2 Corinthians 5:19

The law of the Lord is perfect…The statutes of the Lord are right…The commandment of the Lord is pure…the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Psalm 19:7-9.

The holy Law of God requires righteousness – a righteous life and perfect character. Humans cannot meet its claims. 

Christ – the Son of Man lived a holy life and developed a perfect character. He offers them as a free gift to all willing to receive them.

Thus His life stands for the life of humans and they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. 

Furthermore, Christ imbues humans with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character. 

Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. 

Thus God might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:26.

If it was possible for the Law to be changed or abrogated, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Therefore, it was because the Law was changeless and humans could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross.

The Law has no power to pardon

It points out our shortcomings, that we may realize our need of the One who: 

  • is mighty to save
  • will become our substitute, surety and righteousness.

Jesus meets the needs of sinners, taking upon Himself their sins. Therefore, His death exemplified the curse of sin.

Christ did not die to abolish or change the Law. The opposite – He died to magnify the Law and make it honorable. Isaiah 42:21.

He is the propitiation for the sins of the repentant soul.

Thus through faith in Him we could be justified and God could yet be just in justifying us as sinners.

Therefore, the incarnation, humiliation, and crucifixion of the Son of God is the only way to save the human race.

This gives Satan no ground for his suggestion that, because God is so great, He could care nothing for such insignificant creatures as humans. 

God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

While the Law of God is maintained, and its justice vindicated, the sinner can be pardoned. 

Thus sinners’ pardon is procured through the merits of Christ if they repent.

Through love the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4.

Take God at His Word: 

Thy sins be forgiven thee. Matthew 9:5.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. John 3:36.

Illustration-red background-title-All have sin-text-Bible verse

In the merit of our Substitute

God hath laid on Him (Christ) the iniquity of us all. Therefore, it is our privilege to believe that Christ has borne our sins.

Thus we are under the cover of His atoning blood of the only acceptable sacrifice.  

Moreover, we stand free before God in the merit and virtue of our Substitute, by accepting the provision He has made.

All our:

  • legalism 
  • sorrow and woe
  • groaning and torturing of our souls
  • self-condemning thoughts 

will avail nothing with not even one moment of relief. 

Furthermore, in them there is no salvation. 

It is a consequence of not estimating sin right. Therefore, we must accept God’s estimate. 

It would crush us bearing the guilt of our sin. Nevertheless, the sinless One has taken our place, and though undeserving, He has borne our guilt. 

Let us unload our sins at the foot of the cross. Christ takes away the sins of the world.

I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32.

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isaiah 43:25.

God had provided a remedy that cannot fail – Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31.

May we be not among the number to whom Jesus says:

Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life. John 5:40.

He desires to save us. For while we were yet sinners (not waiting for us to make ourselves good), Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.

Conclusion

In His humanity, Christ was true and obedient to God. He demonstrated what God did with a human being and what everyone, when she/he is partaker of the divine nature can do.  

We are committed for trial and must answer the charge of transgressing the Law of God. Our only hope is to accept Jesus Christ – our Substitute. 

Thus by virtue of His merits we have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. 

Moreover, He builds up the human character after the divine pattern. 

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. Galatians 3:13.

He proves His unlimited and unconditional love to humanity by His suffering and death. He is willing and able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. 

In the very act of dying to save that which was lost, Christ reached the perfect standard of obedience as our Substitute and Surety.

Why Wait Longer?

Illustration-multitude-people-group-text
Your Creator And Redeemer Longs For You – Take Him At His Word

Learn to trust in God’s love and His power to save and restore His moral image in you. The Spirit of God is pleading with you to seek for those things that alone can give you peace and rest – the grace of Christ and the joy of holiness. Give to Christ your guilt and fear today. He can satisfy the craving of your heart. Believe the Son of God. He will receive you. He welcomes you. 

His hand is stretched out still. Why wait longer?

 

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References

  1. YI, Jun 1892; ST, Jul 1913; 2SP 39; 4T 375; GW 92; ST, Oct 1889; DA 266, 751, 755, 762; ST, Apr 1894 – The Ellen G. White Estate
  2. King James Bible Version (KJV)

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