Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Atonement & all it means (part seven)

Jesus was our substitute

Just as we saw the animals covered the sins of the people in the Old Testament by being substituted in the place of the person guilty of the sin, so was Jesus substituted in our place.

The view of Chirst's death presented here has frequently been called the theory of "penal substitution." Christ's death was 'penal' in that he bore a penalty when he died.  His death was also a 'substitution' in that he was a substitute for us when he died...

...The blood of Christ is the clear outward evidence that his life blood was poured out hen he died a sacrificial death to pauy for our redemption - "the blood of Christ" means his death in its saving [substitutional] aspects... By the blood of Christ our consciences are cleansed (Heb 9:14), we gain bold access to God in worship and prayer (Heb 10:19), we are progressively cleansed from remaining sin (1John 1:7; Rev 1:5), we are able to conquer the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10-11) and we are rescued out of a sinful way of life (1 Peter 1:18-19).   Scripture speaks so much about the blood of Christ because its shedding was very clear evidence that his life was being given in judicial exertution (that it, he was condemned to death and died paying a penalty imposed both by an earthly human judge and by God himself in heaven). Scripture's emphasis on the blood of Christ also shows the clear connection between Christ's death and the many sacrifices in the Old Testament that involved the pouring out of the life blood of the sacrificial animal...
~Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology p579

All those Old Testament sacrifices were substitutes so they could provide atonement.  Jesus (God himself) substituted himself as a complete sacrifice of atonement.  That is the most incredible aspect of all of Christian theology - it is what makes Christianity stand alone against all other religious ideas.  All other religions look at what you must do to appease the god or deities involved... yet here we see it is what God himself did that is the center of Christianity.

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