COLUMN: Jesus stepped in when a substitute was needed

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By George Smith

 We are living in a day of substitutes. Many foods and other articles have been replaced by something else.

We have substitutes for sugar, salt, certain metals, wood. 

Jesus Christ is the greatest substitute who ever lived. We were sentenced to die and our names were on a list of the condemned. We were going down to death.  But Jesus became our substitute. He went to the cross and died in our place. Paul says, " ... He gave himself for us" (Galatians 2:20). When we accept what he did for us, then life and peace and joy and salvation comes to us.

We need a substitute, because of our situation. Man was disobedient to God and brought sin into the world. That sinfulness was passed on to all posterity. All have been born into sin, thus we are lost and need a substitute.

Jesus willingly became our substitute. He did not have to do it. God did not force Him to take our place.  Jesus said,

"I lay down my life" (John 10:17-18). No man ever had greater love for others than did Jesus (John 15:13). Some people think that Jesus only loves those who are good, love him, follow him and obey him.  He loves all - whoever and whatever they are.

Jesus came to be our substitute, but how can we claim him? First, we must acknowledge our sin and our need of him. Then, we must surrender to him as savior and lord. Finally, we must confess him before men.

When we do these things, Jesus takes our place and many blessings become ours. We receive the forgiveness of our sins. The blessings of strength becomes ours as he gives us the power to live right. Daily companionship becomes ours. But the greatest blessing comes in the future when we die and are taken to heaven to live forever with Jesus.

These blessings are ours when we accept our substitute - Jesus Christ. We are blessed now and we will be blessed throughout eternity.