Next Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday which mean’s I’m preaching on Jesus’ passion and death. One of the main ways his death has been understood is sometimes called “penal substitution.” A simplified version of which might be categorized as follows: 1. God is angry about human sin. 2. God’s righteousness demands that we be punished for our sin. 3. Jesus stepped in, received our punishment, and died in our place; 4. God is satisfied (or at least mollified) and we are spared.
I’ve never found the above to be a satisfying explanation of how Jesus’ death brought about our salvation (for starters it portrays God the Father as an unjust tyrant and undermines the unity of the Trinity), but it only recently occurred to me that I’ve can’t remember ever coming across this in the Bible. Sure, there are passages that say that Jesus died for our sins and that Jesus died for us, but those statements don’t necessarily mean that he died in our place as our substitute. I can’t think of a Bible passage that says Jesus died in our place. Can you think of one? First person to contact me citing chapter and verse of a solid, reliable translation wins dinner with Jenny, Liz, and I at the Brookville Hotel.