||2016-07-08 13:00:38, 조회 : 927, 추천 : 179
| The Truth of the Cross|
R. C. Sproul
Chapter 5 - The Saving Substitute
Hello to another day that has been given to us by God! Today, we continue with our book, The Truth of the Cross, by the author R. C. Sproul. Which we look at chapter 5, The Saving Substitute.
In the previous chapters we mentioned that Jesus' atonement work is described with the word satisfaction. Very much so, it was Jesus' atonement that made satisfaction for our debt, our enmity with God, and our guilt. It was He Who satisfied the ransom demanded for our release from captivity to sin.
Another word that we must know of to properly understand the atonement Jesus Christ has done for us is the word substitution. When we look at the biblical depiction of sin as a crime, we begin to see that it was Jesus who acts as our Substitute, taking our place in front of God's justice. Jesus did not die on the cross offering atonement for his own sins, but rather for the sins of others. He stepped into the role of the Substitute and was representing His people. This is why we refer to Jesus Christ as our ultimate Substitute.
As we can read from Scripture, as soon as Jesus entered this world and took upon Himself a human nature, He knew that He was to be the Substitute in an offering to satisfy the demands of God's law. Jesus came from heaven for the very purpose of working out redemption as our Substitute, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. We can see this on the account of John, when Jesus meets John the Baptist at the Jordan River. While John the Baptist was baptizing the people, he looks up and sees Jesus approaching. His words, from John 1:29, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" It is here that John the Baptist announces that Jesus was the One Who had come to bear the sin of all His people. It was Jesus Christ who would fulfill the Old Testament sacrificial system of slaughtering a lamb and burning it on the altar as an offering before God. The lamb was a substitute, which is why Jesus Christ is called "the Lamb of God," for He too would be a Substitute, but One Who would make real and permanent atonement.
When Jesus went to John and asked of him of a baptism, we read in Matthew 3:13 of John's reaction. "John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?'" And John's rejection seems very justified in his confusion. He had just announced that Jesus was the Lamb of God, and in order for Jesus to serve as the perfect to atone for His people, the Lamb of God must be without blemish. And so, the very ritual of baptism was confusing for John because baptism symbolized the cleansing from sin.
And in John's confusion, Jesus replied, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15) And in this verse, we see Jesus providing an explanation to John, in his confusion, as to why he must still, even though He is the Lamb of God without blemish, receive baptism. The word in English for fitting, is translated from a Greek word which also translates to necessary. In other words, here Jesus Christ was explaining to John that it was necessary for him to be baptized because Jesus Christ was to fulfill the very law of God. Baptism, is yet another law of God which was given to us on top of the Ten Commandments.
And likewise, before Jesus could fulfill the role of the Lamb of God, before He could make Himself a sacrifice to satisfy the demands of God's justice, Jesus had to submit Himself to every detail of every law God had given to the nation. He had to represent His people before God's justice in every detail. And since the law now required all of the people to be baptized, Jesus too was under that law. If he was to be sinless, it would be necessary of Him to fulfill every single commandment. Jesus wasn't asking of God to cleanse him, but rather was telling him that *He wanted to be baptized so that He could be obedient to His Father in every detail. This was the very point Jesus was making here to John, the fact that Jesus' mission was to be the Substitute to redeem us, to ransom us, and to save us.
With Jesus' atonement of our sins, and delivering us from our guilt, he has provided for us salvation. Salvation by definition means any experience of deliverance from a clear and present danger. And when we speak of salvation in biblical terms, it means *we have ultimately been saved from God's wrath. This is told to us throughout the Scripture, and Apostle Paul says it ever so clearly in 1 Thessalonians that Jesus "delivers us from the wrath to come." It was Jesus who died to save us from the wrath of God. If we do not understand this fact, we cannot understand the teaching and preaching of Jesus, for He constantly warned people that the whole world will one day come under divine judgment. We look at Matthew 5:22, "I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." Matthew 12:36, "I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment."
Essentially, the theology Jesus was bringing to the people is a crisis theology. In Greek, the word crisis means judgment. And what Jesus was preaching to the people is the crises of the certain judgment that will come upon the world. It is at that point that God will certainly pour out His wrath against those who are unredeemed, ungodly, and non-repentant. The only hope of escaping or being rescued of that wrath is to be covered by the atonement of Christ.
And it is only Christ's death on the cross that can turn God's wrath away from His people. It is certainly a scary thing for those to fall into the hands of a holy God Who's wrathful. However, there is no wrath for those whose sins have been paid for. This is real salvation, which can only be delivered to us by the blood of Christ. The work Jesus Christ did on the cross is the very essence of the gospel. A Substitute has appeared before us, appointed by God Himself, to bear the very heavy weight and burden of our trespasses, for the sole purpose that we can be removed of our guilt and for God's wrath to be turned away from us.
This concludes chapter 5, The Saving Substitute, in which I hope you have been able to comprehend the very atonement that was given to us, the very purpose of it, and the fact that without Christ there is no atonement and no salvation. We are a wretched group of people, who continuously work against the effort of God in our sins. However, blessed are we for it was God who sent down His only begotten Son to be our substitute and to bear His wrath on his own body. Amen!