March 4, 2019

Why the Cross Still Matters: Substitution

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 


Every person is born with a sin nature, making us enemies of God. Those who reject this idea see no need for a Savior and give no thought to what actually took place on the Cross. The Cross still matters because that’s where God made a substitution on our behalf. Jesus was completely innocent when He went to the Cross. Yet, He took on the sins and guilt of the world. 


The great evangelist Dwight L. Moody told the story of the young man who did not want to serve in Napoleon’s army. So, when he was drafted a friend volunteered to go as his substitute. Sometime later, the surrogate was killed in battle.


Through a clerical error, however, the same young man was drafted again. “You can’t take me,” he told the startled officers. “I’m dead. I died on the battlefield.” They argued that he was standing right in front of them. Still, he insisted they look to find the record of his death. Sure enough, there on the roll was the young man’s name, with another name written beside it.


The case finally went to the emperor himself. After examining the evidence, Napoleon said, “Through a surrogate, this man has not only fought, but has died in his country’s service. No man can die more than once, therefore the law has no claim on him.”


Two thousand years ago, Jesus went to the Cross to die in our place. He became what He hated most in order to deliver those He loved most. And through Him, our names are written in the Book of Life. The only person qualified to be our substitute did so willingly. Our salvation is legitimate because His name is written beside ours. 


That’s why the Cross still matters. Without His substitution we would be accountable for our sin before God the Father. Rejecting your need for a Savior doesn’t change the truth. One day, you will stand before the Lord and the roll will be checked. Will your name be written there? Won’t you accept His offer to be your substitute? He died once so that anyone who believes on Him will not have to die twice.