April 15, 2019
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God … 1 Peter 3:18
A soldier and a prison guard walk down a narrow corridor to a cell in a Roman dungeon. Imagine this scene: the soldier holds up a torch. Back in the shadows a man crouches in terror. The guard takes his key and opens the door. “Barabbas, get up and come with me.”
Barabbas begins to plead, “No, wait! Don’t take me! Have mercy!” The soldier interrupts. “You’re not going to die. Come here. Look over on that hill. See that cross we made for you? There’s somebody else on it. He’s taking your place.”
I don’t mean to imply that Barabbas was saved, but that God arranged a perfect picture of substitution.
When the Lord Jesus Christ died, He fulfilled yet another Old Testament symbolism. The high priest would take a goat called “the scapegoat,” lay his hand upon its head, and confess the sins of the people. Their sins were symbolically transferred to the goat, which would then be led outside the city walls. There, the goat would be killed and his blood shed. Jesus was led outside Jerusalem’s walls where His blood was shed and He died. Jesus was our scapegoat. Our sins were laid upon him. He carried them to the cross where in agony and blood He died.
The sole purpose for Calvary’s cross was substitution. God forgave our sins through Jesus’ suffering in our place. Just and sinless, Jesus died for the unjust—for Barabbas, you, me, every human being—that He might bring us to Himself. Salvation, eternity in fellowship with God—it’s all there for the taking. Receive God’s offered gift today. All you must do is receive Him and make Him Lord.