All talks » Atonement - Substitution


04 Mar 2020

Andrew Sach

Atonement: Penal Substitution

Jesus says we have a problem we can’t fix

We are guilty (Romans 3:10-12)

God can’t overlook it because of his justice (Romans 2:5-11)

cf. Proverbs 17:15; Exodus 23:7; Deuteronomy 25:1; 1 Kings 8:31-32; Psalm 15:5; Isaiah 5:22-23

God can’t overlook it because of his truthfulness (Genesis 2:17)

It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die (Athanasius, On the Incarnation, Sections 6-7)

The Solution – Christ our penal substitute

Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-12

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds 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.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring…. By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities…. He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

1 Peter 2:24, 3:18

Did God die on the cross?

If he did then … who kept the universe existing over the first Easter weekend? And did Paul make a mistake when he wrote 1 Timothy 1:17? EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

Jesus is and was and always will be God. But at a point in time he became fully man and so mortal (Hebrews 2:14)

“The Word perceived that corruption could not be got rid of otherwise than through death; yet He Himself, as the Word, being immortal and the Father's Son, was such as could not die. For this reason, therefore, He assumed a body capable of death, in order that it, through belonging to the Word Who is above all, might become in dying a sufficient exchange for all…”
(Athanasius, On the Incarnation, Section 9)

Was Jesus separated from his Father at the cross?

Did Jesus, at the point of his death, experience estrangement (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15:34) or intimacy (“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Luke 23:46; cf. John 16:32)? DISTINGUO!