Pristine Grace

Substitution - In the Stead Of
by Jim Byrd
Substitution - In the Stead Of

    Abraham received a divine command to offer Isaac as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2). When all things were ready, the location reached, the altar built, the wood laid in order, the son laid upon the altar - Abraham raised the sacrificial knife to carry out the command. But the Lord stopped him from killing his son and a ram was offered, “for a burnt offering in the stead of his son” (verse 13). What kind of justice would have required Abraham, after he offered the ram, to also kill Isaac? Of course that would have been no justice at all. The ram had already died in the stead of Isaac.

    Christ came into this world to “give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). As the ram died in the stead of, as the substitute for Isaac, so the Savior died in the stead of His chosen people. The law of God required death for our sins; mercifully a fit and worthy Substitute rendered to justice that which it required. It was the death of the Lord Jesus that enabled God to be“a just God and a Savior” (Isaiah45:21). If Christ has paid my debt of sin, then no debt of sin remains; if He has put away my guilt, then no guilt lingers; if He brought in everlasting righteousness for me, then divine justice finds me to be perfect in Christ, “THE LORD MY RIGHTEOUSNESS.” At some appointed time during the lifetime of these redeemed ones, the Holy Spirit will cross their path with the gospel and bring them to believe on, bow to and lovingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. Bless the Name of our covenant God, He has given to His people “a good hope through grace” (2 Thessalonians 2:16). It is true that we are sinners, but we are sinners in whose stead the Son of God has died and we are assured of this for He has brought us to cast our poor souls upon the dear Savior. He is all our hope, salvation, righteousness and life. We have no confidence in self, feelings, experience, knowledge, or faith. Our hope rests in the person, the blood and the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Substitute. We find, therefore, that the justice of God, which once brought fear to our souls, is a very heart comforting truth for we know there is no possibility that any sinner can perish in whose stead Christ has died. Justice would never allow it.