Sermon #78                                                                                                                                                  John’s Gospel


      Title:                                                         Substitution

Christ in My Place


      Text:                                 John 11:47-57

      Subject:               The Nature and Efficacy of Christ’s

Substitutionary Work

      Date:                                Sunday Morning — March 21, 2010

      Tape:                                John #78

      Readings:           Psalms 22, 40 or 69



John 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

55 And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?

57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him._______________________________


Obvious Lessons


There are many things to be observed in this passage. Here are three things that are obvious. (1.) How hard, how desperately wicked, how utterly depraved the heart of man is! — A mighty miracle had been wrought just a short distance from Jerusalem. A man who had been dead for four days was raised to life, in the sight of many witnesses. The fact was unmistakable, and could not be denied. Yet, the chief priests and Pharisees and the multitudes under their influence would not believe.[1] They shut their eyes and stopped their ears. Fearful of losing their ecclesiastical power, they would not bow to God’s revelation. Rather than bowing to Christ, they “took counsel to put Him to death.”


(2.) Read this passage again, and behold the insanity with which men reason when they set themselves against God. These elated fools reasoned that the only way they could preserve their nation was to destroy Christ, his church and his gospel. They rushed madly down the path they chose; and the very thing they feared came to pass. In just a few short years, the Roman armies did come, destroyed Jerusalem, burned the temple, and carried away the whole nation into captivity.


(3.) The religious hypocrites held before us in our text clearly exemplify the fact that lost people, with hearts full of sin, with hearts completely filled with hatred for God, often love religion, religious traditions and religious ceremonies. Here is a great multitude (v. 55), plotting to murder the Lord Jesus, meticulously purifying themselves for the observance of the passover!


The Jews’ passover was nigh at hand…Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?” — He will, indeed, come. He created the world for this hour. Before this feast was ended, Christ our Passover would be sacrificed for us. That is the thing I want to talk about, the sacrifice of Christ, our Passover. The title of my message is SubstitutionChrist in My Place. I want to show you what substitution is and show you the efficacy of Christ’s substitutionary work from the Word of God.


One Subject


The Bible is a book with one subject, and that subject is Substitution. The singular theme of the Holy Scripture is the substitutionary work of the Lord Jesus Christ by which he obtained eternal redemption for his elect and secured the everlasting salvation of his people. The one purpose and object of the Word of God is to reveal the glory of Christ in the performance and accomplishment of his great substitutionary work. If you miss, or fail to understand the gospel message of Substitution, you cannot understand anything written upon the pages of inspiration.


I know that the Bible teaches us many blessed truths. I love to study and preach Bible doctrine. I am not embarrassed or uneasy when someone refers to me as a “doctrinal preacher.” If I were not a preacher of Gospel doctrine, I would not pretend to be a preacher. But this is what I want you to see: — All the blessed doctrines of this sacred Volume may be summed up and set forth in one doctrineSubstitution. No truth of Holy Scripture, no part of the Bible can be understood apart from the doctrine of Substitution.


Š      The very first doctrine of the Bible, the doctrine of creation, can be understood properly only when we realize that all things were created by the Lord Jesus Christ, our Substitute.

Š      The doctrine of Divine providence is a precious truth of Holy Scripture. We rejoice to “know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called, according to his purpose.” But providence can only be understood when we realize that all things are upheld and governed by the Word and power of Christ our Substitute.

Š      We believe the glorious doctrines of eternal election and sovereign predestination. And we are not at all bashful about proclaiming them. But election is in Christ. We were chosen in the Substitute. Predestination is that we should be conformed to the image of the Son of God, our Substitute.

Š      How we rejoice and glory in the doctrine of the atonement! But if there were no Substitute, no Mediator between God and man, if there was no one who could satisfy the needs of fallen man and the justice of a holy God, if there were no suitable Substitute, there would be no atonement.

Š      The doctrines of the resurrection and the glorification of the saints cause our hearts great joy before God. This is the glorious expectation of the sons of God. But we would have no hope of future glory, if there were no Substitute into whose likeness we must be made.


I want you to get this. — The theme of the Bible is Substitution! The whole purpose of Divine Revelation is to teach us that God will not speak to, nor will he be spoken to by any man, apart from a Substitute.God only deals with men through a Substitute. Your eternal salvation, or your eternal damnation, will be determined by your relationship to God’s appointed Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything in the Bible sets forth Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the incarnate God-man as the one, the only, the all-sufficient Substitute for sinners (Luke 24:44-47).


“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47)


Sinner’s Hope


Substitution is the sinner’s only hope. The substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only hope we have, the only hope God’s elect have ever had, and the only hope sinners ever shall have. In the Old Testament church God’s elect believed on and trusted that Substitute who was to come, the One promised, prophesied and pictured in the Old Testament Scriptures, and were redeemed and justified, forgiven and accepted in their Substitute, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

  • Adam (Genesis 3:15)
  • Abel (Genesis 4:1-4)
  • Abraham (Genesis 22:8-14)
  • Israel (Exodus 12:13)
  • David (Psalm 22)
  • Isaiah (Isaiah 53)
  • Daniel (Daniel 9:24)
  • Zechariah (Zechariah 12:10)
  • Malachi (Malachi 4:12)
  • John the Baptist (John 1:29)
  • Simeon (Luke 2:25)


As the church of the Old Testament had but one foundation upon which to rest their hope before God, so today we have no hope of acceptance with God but this “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” In both the Old Testament era and in this gospel era, the Christ we trust, the Substitute by whom we are redeemed is Christ, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” whose “works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8; Hebrews 4:3).


Proposition: The Bible makes it very clear that the only hope any sinner has of eternal salvation is Substitution. — Our only hope of acceptance before God is through the substitutionary work of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Every ritual, every garment of the priesthood, every sacrifice, every article of furniture within the tabernacle, the tabernacle itself, all the laws of the Old Testament, the temple, the temple service and all the prophets of God, all have but one message, and they all speak it very plainly. Their message is substitution and that is my message to you. — SubstitutionChrist in My Place.


A Substitute is


You all know what a substitute is. A substitute is one who stands in the place of another. A substitute assumes the obligations and responsibilities of another person. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us, as our Substitute. The Son of God assumed our nature and took upon himself the sins of God’s elect. He stood in the place of sinners at Calvary so that all who trust him might stand in his place eternally, accepted before God. Since I fully trust my soul upon the merits of Christ and him alone, resting my soul upon him for everything before God, I have good reason to believe that Jesus Christ is my Substitute.

Š      I want to tell you about Christ my Substitute.

Š      I want to show you how that he has stood, is standing and shall forever stand in my place before God.

Š      I want you to know, trust, love and worship my glorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinners’ Substitute.


A Perfect Substitute


I want to be unmistakably clear in everything I say about this subject. So let me raise four questions, and answer them from the Word of God.


First, Who is our Substitute? (John 1:1; 2 Timothy 3:16; 6:14-16). His name is Immanuel — “God with us.” The sinners’ Substitute must be a real man; and he must be the infinite God. Were he only God, he could not suffer. Were he only man, he could not satisfy. But the God-man can both suffer and satisfy.


(John 1:1-3) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”


(John 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”


(John 1:18) “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”


(1 Timothy 3:15-16) “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”


(1 Timothy 6:14-16) “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”


The sinners’ Substitute must be a real man; and he must be the infinite God. And the Substitute must be perfect.


Illustration: The Paschal Lamb


(Leviticus 22:21) “And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.”


In Leviticus 21 and 22, the Lord instructed Moses and Aaron with the most vital and fundamental information on how to approach and worship him. The high priest must have no defect, deformity or blemish of any kind (Leviticus 21:16-21). And the sacrifice must have no blemish at all (Leviticus 22:17-24). If the priest had no defect, but brought a sacrifice with blemishes it would not be accepted, for it “must be perfect to be accepted” (Leviticus 22:21). Likewise, if the sacrifice had no blemish, but the priest who offered it had any blemish, the sacrifice would not be accepted at all, for it “must be perfect to be accepted.”


The purpose of those ancient Levitical laws was to declare the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the ceremonial pictures of the law. Christ is our perfect, great High Priest without spot, blemish, defect, deformity or sin (Hebrews 4:14-15; 7:26; 8:1).


(Hebrews 4:14-15) “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”


(Hebrews 7:25-26) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”


(Hebrews 8:1) “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.”


He is also the perfect Sacrifice. He is the Lamb without blemish and without spot (John 1:29; 1 Peter. 1:18-20).


(1 Peter 1:18-20) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”


It is only through the Lord Jesus Christ and his glorious sacrifice that we could be and are justified from all sin (Acts 13:38-39; Hebrews 9:12).


(Acts 13:38-39) “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”


In the Lord Jesus Christ every believer is a priest with no blemish, no sin (Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9-10). In Christ’s precious blood atonement we approach the throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19-22), because we have a perfect sacrifice that fully, eternally satisfies the holy justice of God (Romans. 3:24-26; Colossians 1:19-22; Jude 1:24-25).


It is in, by, through and with Christ our Substitute, the perfect Priest and perfect Sacrifice that we meet God’s standard of perfection.“It must be perfect to be accepted.” And this is all “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).


Savior’s Mission


Second, Why did our Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, come into this world? What was his purpose in coming? What was his mission? He said that he came to do his Father’s will. He said that he came to seek and to save that which was lost. Our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world, taking upon himself our nature, so that he might do that which was committed to him by his Father in the covenant of grace before the world began. Christ came to redeem unto himself a people and to glorify his Father in doing so. — “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). In order for God, in his infinite holiness, to save fallen, guilty sinners, God’s own Son must become the sinners’ Substitute.

  • Righteousness must be established.
  • Sin must be punished.
  • Justice must be maintained and satisfied.

Christ assumed our nature and came into this world so that God might be both just and the Justifier of his people.


Mission Accomplished


Third, What did the Lord Jesus Christ accomplish while he was in this world? (Hebrews 10:10-14).

  • He brought in an everlasting righteousness.
  • He satisfied the law and justice of God.
  • He put away all the sins of his people.
  • He redeemed unto himself a people (Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:12).


(Hebrews 10:1-14) “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 ¶ Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”


Substitute Accepted


Fourth, Where is Christ Now? (Hebrews 1:1-3).



(Hebrews 1:1-3) “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”


Yonder, beyond the skies, I see him, seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, as our Substitute. Our great Substitute has finished the work of redemption; and now he is reigning as the exalted Monarch of the universe, performing the final salvation of those people for whom he died, the sinners he has redeemed with his own precious blood. Can you get hold of what I am saying? The sovereign Ruler of this universe is that one who suffered and bled and died as the sinners’ Substitute! (Isaiah 53:10-12; John 17:2).


(Isaiah 53:10-12) “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”


(John 17:2) “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”


Divisions: Now, let me show you five pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ, our all-glorious, ever-gracious Substitute standing in our place; and I will wrap this up.

  1. In the Covenant of Grace.
  2. As he lived in this world.
  3. At Calvary.
  4. Today.
  5. In the Day of Judgment.


Eternal Substitute


The Lord Jesus Christ stood as our Substitute in eternity past as our Surety in the everlasting Covenant of Grace. That’s the first picture I want you to see. Christ is an eternal Substitute. It is always smart to begin in the beginning. And if you want to know what the Book of God teaches about salvation, you’ve got to understand that it is a work finished from eternity in our Substitute. By God’s own oath in the counsels of eternity “Jesus was made a Surety of a better testament” (Hebrews 7:22).

  • Before I was a sinner, Christ stood as my Savior.
  • Before I broke God’s law, Christ stood as my Redeemer.
  • Before I was a transgressor, Christ stood as my Righteousness.
  • Before I fell in Adam, I was accepted in Christ my Substitute.
  • Before I became a slave, Christ stood as my Ransom.
  • Before I became a debtor, Christ stood as my Surety.


From everlasting the God of Glory said, concerning his elect, — “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” In the Covenant of Grace the salvation of God’s elect was planned, purposed, provided for, made sure and completely accomplished (2 Samuel 23:5; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Timothy 1:9). All the blessings of the Covenant and all of God’s elect were entrusted to the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Surety of the Covenant (John 6:39; Ephesians 1:13). He voluntarily took upon himself all responsibility for us!


Illustration: Judah was Surety for Benjamin

(Genesis 43:8-9).


(Genesis 43:8-9) “And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. 9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever.”


With Christ standing as our Substitute and Surety, in the mind and purpose of God, our salvation was looked upon from eternity as a thing already complete. In very plain, unmistakable words, God the Holy Spirit declares that the whole work was done in Christ before the world began (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 1:9).


(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”


Š      Christ, the Lamb of God, was slain as our Substitute before the foundation of the world.

Š      We were “accepted in the Beloved”, our Substitute, from eternity.

Š      God has always looked upon his elect in Christ, the Substitute, and always will!


Obedient Substitute


First, Christ is an eternal Substitute. He stood in our place and we were in him from eternity. Second, the Lord Jesus Christ is our obedient Substitute. He stood as our Substitute while he lived in this world. For thirty-three years the Lord Jesus Christ lived as the Federal Head and Representative of his people in this world. It is written, — By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). As we were made sinners by the disobedience of Adam, we were made righteous by the obedience of Christ. In the course of his earthly life the Lord Jesus Christ restored that which he took not away Righteousness.


My friends, the sinless life of Christ was as necessary for our redemption and salvation as his death at Calvary. In his life Christ fulfilled the holy law of God as our Substitute, establishing perfect righteousness (Romans 3:22), without which we could never be accepted before God. By his life of obedience, he brought in an everlasting righteousness for us. His name is, Jehovah-tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness(Jeremiah 23;6).

  • Our Lord voluntarily submitted himself to every law and ordinance of God to fulfill all righteousness as our Representative.
  • All that Christ did in his life, he did as our Substitute.
  • His righteousness is imputed to us because it is ours. — All who are represented by him, all for whom he obeyed the law as their Substitute, obeyed the law in him. We often say, “It is just as though we did it.” And that is true; but there’s more to this than a “just as though.” — This Book reveals a real Substitute and real substitution! — (Jeremiah 33:16)


God demands that we fulfill the law in perfect righteousness; and we who believe have fulfilled the law of God in our Substitute (Romans 3:28-31; 8:3-4).


(Romans 3:28-31) “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”


(Romans 8:3-4) “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”


Crucified Substitute


First, Christ is an eternal Substitute. He stood in our place and we were in him from eternity. Second, the Lord Jesus Christ is our obedient Substitute. He stood as our Substitute while he lived in this world. Third, The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, stood in our place as our Substitute at Calvary. He is our crucified, sin-atoning Substitute.


Christ died under the penalty of God’s law, bearing my sin, my shame, my guilt and the wrath of God due unto me. He died in my place, satisfying the wrath of God for me, so that I would never be required to die.This is Substitution! (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13-14; 1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:4-8; Psalm 40:12; 69:3-6, 9, 19-20).


(2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


(Galatians 3:13-14) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”


(1 Peter 2:24) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”


(Isaiah 53:4-8) “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”


(Psalms 40:12) “For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.”


(Psalms 69:3-6) “I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. 5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. 6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.”


(Psalms 69:9) “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.”


(Psalms 69:19-20) “Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. 20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.”


Illustrations:            Barabbas — Napoleon’s Soldier

                                                                        One Room School


Child of God, when you think of the redemptive work of Christ, remember these four facts, rejoice in them, and let nothing move you from them.


1.    The death of Christ was a vicarious sacrifice (2 Corinthians 5:21).


2.    The death of Christ was for a particular people.“For the transgression of my people was he stricken” (Isaiah 53:8). — “The Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.


3.    The death of Christ was an effectual satisfaction of justice, an effectual atonement, an effectual redemption. — “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). — Christ has put away all the sins of all his people. — The Lord Jesus has redeemed God’s elect. — Our Substitute has silenced the claims of God’s law against us, by fully satisfying it. — Our great Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ has justified, perfectly and completely, all of those people for whom he stood as a Substitute.


4.    And the death of Christ was final. — “Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).


Present Substitute


Stay with me. — Our Lord Jesus is an eternal Substitute. He is an obedient Substitute. He is a crucified, sin-atoning Substitute. And blessed be his name our dear Savior is a present Substitute! That is the fourth picture I want to set before you. See him yonder in Glory. — Jesus Christ the righteous stands in our place today as our Substitute and Advocate in heaven (1 John 2:1-2).


(1 John 2:1-2) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”


His five precious wounds, the merit of his righteousness and the merit of his blood effectually secure the present and eternal welfare of his people. This is what I am saying — God will not charge his own elect with sin, and the law cannot require any punishment of God’s elect because of sin, because Christ, the risen Lord, our Substitute, stands as our Advocate with the Father.


Children of God, don’t sin! But when you do sin, don’t despair! Our Advocate on high holds up his hands, as often as his child sins, and he says, “Father, don’t charge my redeemed one with sin. I paid the price for his iniquity, transgression, and sin. See, here are the wounds.”


I know that God will never charge his people with sin for four reasons. In Christ we cease to be accountable for sin, because

1.    God himself has accepted our Substitute (Hebrews 6:20; 10:12).

2.    Our Substitute is perfectly righteous, “Jesus Christ, the Righteous.

3.    Our Advocate has made satisfaction for our sin. — “He is the propitiation for our sins.”

4.    In Christ we have no sin. Christ has taken our sins away! — “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin” (1 John 3:5).


Judgment Substitute


First, Christ is an eternal Substitute. He stood in our place and we were in him from eternity. — Second, the Lord Jesus Christ is our obedient Substitute. He stood as our Substitute while he lived in this world. — Third, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, stood in our place as our Substitute at Calvary. He is our crucified, sin-atoning Substitute. — Fourth, Jesus Christ the righteous stands in our place today as our Substitute and Advocate in heaven. He is our present Substitute. — And, fifth, the Lord Jesus Christ himself will stand in our place, as our Substitute before the bar of the thrice holy Lord God in the Day of Judgment.


In that great day, when God judges all men, Christ will present all of his people, even you, even me, holy, unblameable, unreproveable and perfect before the glorious majesty of the Triune God, saying, “Behold I and the children which God hath given me” (Hebrews 2:13).


Illustration: Rowland Hill’s Dream


When God examines me with the omniscient eye of his strict justice, truth and holiness, he will find no spot or blemish in me, because his own Son performed in my place, as my Substitute, perfect righteousness and obedience and thoroughly washed away my sins in his blood (Jeremiah 50:20).


(Jeremiah 50:20) “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.”


Trusting Christ as my Substitute, I fully expect to hear God say, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And looking upon me in his Son, my Substitute, I fully expect to hear him say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”




Come, poor, guilty, helpless sinner! Come, you who are dirty, corrupt, bankrupt sinners, come to Christ. Trust your soul upon the merits of the Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ; and go down to your house like the publican of old, justified in Christ.


Children of God, this gospel message of Substitution ought to inspire our hearts with —

Š      Love for Christ.

Š      Praise to Christ.

Š      Devotion to Christ.

Š      Adoration of Christ.


How I rejoice in this great revelation of grace…


Substitution Christ in My Place!








Don Fortner



Listen to sermons at



[1] No one has ever been converted by seeing a miracle!