The fact that Jesus became the "Substitute" for us in paying the penalty for our sin and rebellion to God is absolutely incredible and in addition to that He became our "Substitute" in entering the covenant with God. Let's take a few minutes and look at what actually occurred. There were actually two parts to the substitution that Jesus performed on the cross.
Romans 6:23 -- "For the wages of sin is death."
Hebrews 9:22 -- "And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin."
John 1:29 -- "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world."
PART I -- HE PAID THE PRICE FOR OUR SIN
No matter how much we have difficulty believing it, God's penalty for sin is death, yet every human being commits sins because of our fallen sin nature. We have inherited the sin nature of our forefather, Adam. His nature was corrupted when because of his rebellion he severed himself from the life of God and by living in the kingdom of darkness he deteriorated and devolved into a being like his new master, Satan. Because of this every human born after Adam and Eve inherited this sin nature. Remember the scripture says in Romans that we are slaves to whoever it is we obey - either Satan or God.
Romans 6:23 -- "For the wages of sin is death."
God knew this and because of His great love toward mankind He did make a way for this sin problem to be dealt with -- cover it with blood so He didn't see it.
Remember that under the Old Covenant Law they had the Atonement in which an animal would be killed in place of a human and that blood was a substitute for the humans that had the sin. Instead of someone dying to pay the penalty for the sin a lamb was substituted so that the human could go free.
It was the job of the High Priest to, once a year on the Day of Atonement, to take the blood of a lamb for the people and present that blood to God as a sacrifice to cover, or pay for, the penalty of sin. The people were required to bring a sacrificial lamb as perfect as possible to be killed as a substitute in their place.
When John saw Jesus in the scripture above he called Him the Lamb of God that had been prepared to shed His blood as the sacrificial lamb of God for the human family. He was to be our substitute to pay the penalty for man’s sin. Keep in mind that Jesus did not just “bear our sin” on the cross, He BECAME SIN and that caused the Father to actually turn His back on Jesus and reject Him from fellowship.
2 Corinthians 5:21 -- "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Matthew 27:46 -- "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
This had to be the most painful event any individual has ever experienced throughout all of eternity. It literally broke the heart of Jesus so that He had to cry out in agony.
How could anyone love so much as to give up his life in such a gruesome death as the crucifixion for someone like the human race that hated him so much? That demonstrates the incredible love that God has for us.
Romans 5:8 -- "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
1 John 3:16 -- "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;"
PART II -- THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT
The second part of the reason for Jesus’ death on the cross was the actual cutting of the covenant. The spilled blood of Jesus is called the “blood of the everlasting covenant”.
The new covenant that was made on the cross was a little different than the covenants prior to it because there was only one person involved -- Jesus. Let me explain because this is incredible.
Remember when we talked about making a covenant in earlier pages there were two individuals that were “representatives” or “covenant heads” that actually made the covenant on behalf of themselves, or as a substitute on the behalf of a group of others. This is amazing because it was the reason Satan could not understand what was happening on the cross because it was a “mystery” to him. If he had known what was happening he would never had Jesus crucified. He would have tried to kill all the people who were trying to kill Jesus so that Jesus could not have shed His blood, but Satan didn't know what was actually happening on that cross.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8 -- "but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;"
In Scripture, Jesus was called both the Son of Man and the Son of God. He was born of a virgin birth to a human mother -- so He was human. He was also the Word of God that was sent to be wrapped in flesh -- so He was God.
John 1:1 -- "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:14 -- "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Luke 1:26-38 -- the foretelling to Mary of the divine conception of her son Jesus
THEREFORE, JESUS WAS THE "REPRESENTATIVE" AND THE "SUBSTITUTE" OF BOTH THE HUMAN FAMILY AND GOD IN THE SAME BODY.
He was fully man and He was fully God.
When the blood of Jesus was spilled on the cross the blood of the human family and the blood of God were spilled and mingled together establishing the everlasting new covenant in His blood. It sealed the covenant between two formerly hostile parties: God and the human race.
No other event in the history of the universe has had the significance of this event.
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