The Substitutionary Death Of Christ

Some gospel preachers believe the death of Jesus was only sacrificial, but not substitutionary. Let’s examine some passages that prove Jesus was also a substitution for us …

Isaiah 53:6b reads “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” so our sins were actually/spiritually placed on Jesus. This phrase is likely a type/anti-type reference to Leviticus 16:21-22 where the sins of the people were placed upon the scapegoat. This doesn’t mean Jesus was a sinner (had ever committed sin), but it does mean Jesus (in his death) was treated by the Father as if he had sinned – the sins of the whole world for all time were placed upon Jesus. II Corinthians 5:21a puts the same idea this way – “For he hath made him to be sin for us.” Jesus took the punishment we all deserve.

Isaiah 53:5 says “the chastisement of our peace was upon him” (Jesus). This shows Jesus wasn’t just a sacrifice; he was also being punished to bring peace between God and sinner. He was not punished for anything he had done (he lived his whole perfectly), but he took the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Galatians 3:13 confirms this idea when it says “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us ….” Jesus took our curse so we didn’t have to – the Bible says so.

We see this again in the story of the crucifixion of Christ. Remember his words in Matthew 27:46 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The truth is when our iniquities were placed upon Jesus (Isaiah 53:6b), the Father had to break spiritual fellowship with (forsake) Christ. It is not that Jesus sinned; instead God had to treat Jesus like a sinner (in our place). Of all the pain and torture he had to suffer on the cross, I imagine this was the hardest for Jesus to endure. It was the first and only time in history the Son was separated (spiritually) from the Father.

You might say Jesus took our place on that cruel cross. On the cross Jesus received the punishment for our sins that we deserved. We have so much to be thankful for in the substitutionary death of Christ. He did it for us!


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