Author: Ron Graham
Jesus Took Our Place
—Translated from the Bislama
Why did Jesus die on the cross which stood at Calvary? Here's why: Christ, whose life was perfect, took your place, since your life was not perfect. Jesus died one time only to take away your sins in order to bring you to God (1Peter 3:18).
God is able to heal our [souls] but he also urges us to be strong. If we don't follow his word, and we let go of our belief in Jesus, well then God will be very angry with us. God will punish every one who is not righteous (Romans 11:22).
Jesus will come to punish all who do not give honour to God, who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Thus punishment never ends, and all who receive this punishment can never draw near to God [for fellowship with him] (2Thessalonians 1:8-9).
1 We Cannot Take Away Sin
We cannot bear punishment to purge our sins, because that punishment would never reach sufficiency, so the punishment would go on and on without end (Matthew 25:41,46).
Consider this message [to the wicked], "You go away into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). This place is for Satan. It has nothing at all good in it, so there is no power there that can take away sin. Clearly, to be punished in this place is not productive of good. It is of no worth. It cannot purge us and make us righteous.
2 Jesus Bore Our Punishment
Jesus Christ carried the punishment which really he did not derserve. During his life he did not sin; he was completely clean (1Peter 2:21-22). He was righteous, holy, unspoiled (Hebrews 7:26). Although he was a perfect man, God allowed him to be punished, nailed to a cross, as though he were a criminal (Acts 2:22-23, Acts 3:14-15).
3 Jesus Took Our Place
Because Jesus had no wrong in him, God treated his punishment as ours. God let Jesus suffer punishment in our stead [the just for the unjust] (1Peter 3:18).
Jesus Christ, who is directly God’s Son, has power far above any power we have. He has great ability equal to the High God who is directly his Father. For this reason Jesus was able to bear the punishment in our place, and this punishment was sufficient to erase all our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, Isaiah 53:10-11, John 3:16).
Before Jesus died, the High Priest [Caiaphas] said, "It is better for One to die to save the people than that all should die" (John 11:49-51).
4 We Must Obey Jesus
If we believe in Jesus and obey him, we will not attract punishment. Jesus said, "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Peter says, "Every one of you must repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 2:38).
1Note:— Suffering With Christ. We must be ready to suffer at times because we cling to our faith in Jesus. God does not punish us, but evil persons do [including the Devil and his angels]. When we are hurt in this way, it is as though we suffer with Jesus. We suffer with him because we are his friends. God will bless us for this, and [in due time] he will punish the wicked.