Ed Leonard, an employee of Canadian mining company, was working in Colombia, South America, when he was captured by rebel soldiers in 1998. In an unprecedented move Norbert Reinhart, the owner of the company, secured Leonard’s release by taking his place. Reinhart was then held hostage for 94 days.
Centuries ago, Jesus took our place, becoming our substitute. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
So profound is that act that scholars have struggled to explain its mystery. The Bible teaches that God loves us but must uphold His perfect justice by punishing us for our sin. As part of His plan to redeem us, He sent His Son Jesus to become a member of the human race (John 1:18). Although He was sinless, Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, took our punishment on the cross. With sin’s penalty paid, He rose from the grave and offers forgiveness and eternal life to all.
Just knowing these facts, though, doesn’t mean that we are forgiven. We must admit that we’re helpless, lost sinners (Romans 3:23), turn from our sins, and personally reach out in faith to Christ and receive His offer of forgiveness. Then He truly is our Savior, our Substitute. – Dennis J. De Haan
Was it for crimes that I have done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree! – Watts
Knowing a creed is no substitute for knowing Christ.
- June 11, Vol. 18, Our Daily Bread