Christ Our Substitute.
"He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." II Corinthians 5:21
This is a day of new beginning for us all. As your pastor, I sense that you are all as full of anticipation regarding our ministry together as I am. Therefore, I thought it would be good for us to remind ourselves of our one task as a church---We must proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to our generation. This is our one and only message, "In due time, Christ died for the ungodly." Every doctrine of the Bible may be summed up on one doctrine. Every book of the Bible, when understood in its essence, has but one message. That doctrine and that message is Substitution. Brethren, always keep these three things in mind concerning the death of Christ.
1. The Atoning Sacrifice Of Our Lord Jesus Christ Was a Divine Work. God the Father appointed his Son to be a redeemer and God the Son voluntarily gave himself for us. It is true wicked men crucified the Son of God. But, our Redeemer was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. Having chosen Christ as the Substitute for his people, God made his Son to be sin for us! What amazing love.
2. The Death Of Christ Was A Substitutionary Atonement. The Lord Jesus Christ, the holy, harmless, undefiled Godman Mediator, was made sin for us. It was a legal work. God charged his Son with all the sin of his people. And because he was made sin for us, he was slain as our substitute, in our place. As our surety, he paid the ransom price and redeemed our souls.
3. The Lord Jesus Christ Was Triumphant In His Death. When our surety cried, "It is finished!" he did not mean that the work was partially complete. He meant that the work was done, which had been committed to his hands. The law was fulfilled. Justice was satisfied. Our sins were gone. And we were made the righteousness of God in him. There is no possibility of any soul for whom Christ died perishing. All for whom he was made sin are made righteous by him.