The Great Exchange: My Sin For His Righteousness

The message of the Cross is the heart of Christianity.  In fact, it is THE message and the cornerstone of the Christian faith.  We should never grow tired of learning about what happened there and all of its implications.  It never gets old and we must never move on from it!  For the past few years, I have made it a goal to read at least one book each year that discusses this topic.  I have just started reading a new one that I would like to share with  those who read this blog.  It is called “The Great Exchange:  My Sin for His Righteousness” by Jerry bridges and Bob Bevington.   I will be sharing quotes from it when I am done, but today I wanted to share this extended quoted about how the Old Testament sacrificial system served as a pre-cursor for Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

 “Atonement by animal sacrifice was the method by which sinning Jewish believers, estranged from God and excluded from covenant standing, were forgiven and restored to relationship with the inflexibly holy and yet merciful God.  The penalty for sin was separation and death; if a sin occurred, so must a separation and a death.  No amount of remorse, regret, or improved behavior could remove the guilt.  The offender was required to die without the possibility of restored fellowship to God – unless the God-ordained animal substitute was offered (separated) and killed (sacrificed) in the place of the dinner.  The act of substitutionary death was the main point of the old covenant atonement for sin.  In viewing the sacrificial process, defiled Israelites were reminded of what they would have endured if the sacrifice had not intervened.

It is important for us to note that this God-given system of animal sacrifices united three essential concepts…  divine holiness, the consequences of sin, and the necessity of God’s intervention to supply the means of forgiveness.  The atoning animal-substitute deaths were intended to impress these truths on every heart.
The Great symbolic truth shown here is that God will not forfeit his holiness to  his love.  God will not allow his mercy to violate the spotless integrity of his uncompromised justice.  By establishing the principle of sacrifice and its symbolism, God revealed that a satisfaction of divine justice was the only path to reconciliation between himself, a holy God and sinful man.  He heralded the indispensable necessity of atonement by a substitutionary death.””  pp. 49-50
5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.  I Timothy 2:5-6 NIV

About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on January 27, 2011, in Christianity, The Cross and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The cross will never lose its power.
    When we deny the cross, when we deny the supreme sacrifice that Jesus did for us on the cross – that is when we will lose the very heart of our faith.
    That is when we will become spineless, timid and weak in the face of adversity. That is when we will allow Satan a foothold.
    That is when we will give Satan a legal right into our life.

    To proclaim the resurrection without the sacrifice that preceded it is violating the very principles that God instilled – as in your quotes above. Thank you for bringing it back to our attention.


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