Surely He (the Lord Jesus Christ) has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Substitutions are very common in the world of sports. When a player becomes fatigued or hurt, he will often be replaced by another athlete. This, of course, does not happen all that often in the world of crime and justice. Not too many are willing to give up their lives for a common criminal. But Christ did!

All of us are spiritual criminals against a holy God. We have offended Him and His wrath is upon us, except that Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins in our stead. This is called substitutionary atonement. In simple language, He died for me in my place, I deserved hell, and by placing my trust in my Substitute, He assures me of pardon, eternal life and peace with God. Peter puts it this way, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed” (I Peter 2:24).

If Christ is not your substitute then you must pay a price that God will not accept, since He demands a perfect sacrifice, and only Christ’s is acceptable! Ask Him to be your substitute!

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