“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
We have a problem. God is holy; He’s “the just.” We are unholy; we are “the unjust.” How could God, who is holy, punish sin and love the sinner at the same time? That’s the problem that was solved by Calvary. God was, in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. Here the doctor not only makes a house call, leaves Heaven, and comes to Earth, but the doctor Himself makes the patient well by taking the patient’s sickness. He dies: “the just for the unjust.” The judge not only adjudicates the criminal guilty, but also steps from behind the bench, stands in the place of the accused, and takes the punishment upon Himself. You’ll never understand the cross until you understand the principle of substitution. Jesus Christ died for us.
Make a list of the ways Jesus is your perfect substitute.