This is one of those Twisted Tuesdays that turns my stomach. When the topic of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross comes up it brings joy to our hearts and tears to our eyes. Unfortunately there are some who say this never happened, because if it had it would have been cosmic child abuse. Have you heard this, dear ones? I have certainly, though phrased slightly differently, however I heard it from an agnostic. I was shocked to learn it was first suggested by those who claim to be Christians themselves.
This twist in Scripture revolves around the doctrine of penal substitution. Rather than twisting one verse in the Bible, liberal theologians challenge the very veracity of it. Some have suggested that it would be too harsh for God to punish Jesus Christ for sins someone else committed. They say, instead, that God forgives us simply because He is loving. Some even go so far as to say that Christ never existed, that the Bible can’t be trusted, yet they still call themselves Christians. Their heresy has become an argument used against Christians by the lost to this very day.
When we examine this reasonably we see that any judge who does not pass a sentence for a crime is not loving, but criminal himself. If someone were to brutally kill someone you loved, then stood before a judge and said ‘I’m really sorry judge, I won’t do it again’ should the judge let him go? Would it be loving for that judge to set this murderer free? Of course not! God has set Laws for mankind, we have broken those Laws, so to forgive us our trespasses without payment for said crimes would be unjust. God is just, He is a good judge, He is not slack nor is He criminal. Whether by Christ on that Roman cross, or in hell, sin must be paid for. God is not harsh, cruel, or unjust to have poured out the wrath due us on Christ. It’s the most merciful thing that has ever been done.
Men who suggest that God would never punish Christ for our sins have made the same mistake we see so often. They’ve lowered God to our level, and raised mankind to His. Sin, in their eyes, is really no worse than white lies. God, in their theology, is not the Righteous, Holy, Sovereign King of Kings, He’s just like you and me, a pal, a buddy that’s far too busy to notice all our secret sins of thought and deed. The idol they’ve created doesn’t match the God of the Bible, but they found a solution for that, they simply threw out the Bible. God is good, He is Just, one day He will sit in judgement over the world. How will you answer Him on that day? Do you foolishly imagine that you will shake your fist at Him? My dear friend, when your sins are laid bare before Him you will search out hell just to hide yourself from His holiness.
Penal substitution is a doctrine we can not afford to let slip, not even in the slightest. God is good, you and I are not. We have sinned against a Holy God, we are without hope in this world, depraved wretch’s unable to save ourselves or stop the very sin that condemns us. Christ as our substitutionary sacrifice, dying in our place, paying our debt, is the only hope we have. It’s a grand hope! Faith in Christ Jesus alone saves the wicked sinner! Any who preach a Gospel other then that are heretics, preaching a Christless, crossless, Gospel that can not save. Beloved brethren, this is why we must pray and study Gods Word, so that we will know how to give an answer for this hope within us. So, as always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.