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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>What Happened on the Cross? This is Worth a Careful Reading

The introduction addresses “Substitutionary Atonement,” which is, to some, controversial. To many, it is a pair of undefined words.

Let me try to whet your appetite for the book by the following excerpt:

What does ‘substitution’ mean? “Substitution” refers to a person or thing acting or serving in place of another. Biblically, the concept of substitution was first practiced not by God, but by human beings. When our first parents chose to disobey God and believe the lies of our Enemy, they chose to substitute themselves for God in an effort to become their own gods. Subsequently, to save sinners God had to reverse that tragic substitution and did so by becoming a human being and dying in our place to atone for our sins.

In his marvelous book The Cross of Christ John Stott insightfully explains this fact: The concept of substitution may be said, then, to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices Himself for man and puts Himself where only man deserves to be. May claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.”

In a time when many are denying the fact that Jesus took the hit for us, this deserves a careful re-reading.

I heartily recommend the book (as well as Stott’s book!)

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