Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Substitutionary Death: Jesus for Jesus

In the post "What is Death?", we saw the difference between physical death and spiritual death. If we are to avoid spiritual death, someone must die on our behalf - to pay the price for our sins; so that we are released from the bondage to sin. That 'someone' was Jesus - he died in our place!

Jesus' dying on the Cross in our place is termed "substitutionary death." One man dying for another man's folly. And all this out of grace and mercy - just so that we could walk away free! "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Jesus for Jesus - Man for man

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, the multitude demanded that Jesus Christ be crucified and a prisoner - also having the name 'Jesus' (and called 'Barabbas' - meaning 'son of the father') - be released. As per the custom in those days, one prisoner would be released at the Passover feast. So Pilate ordered that Jesus the "notorious prisoner" be released.

The Jesus who was a sinner was let off while the innocent Jesus (Christ) was sacrificed at Passover. In a sense, we too are in Barabbas' position - we have offended God. But God, in His mercy and grace, anointed His Son Jesus to die not only in place of Jesus the prisoner, but also in place of you and me. Jesus for Jesus - Man for man!

Let us, then, offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God by praising Him and thanking Him for the way of salvation He has worked out for us in Christ Jesus:

"Praise the LORD,
For His mercy endures forever." (2 Chr. 20:21; Ps. 106:1; Ps. 136)

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