The cross event entails a blameless man, unworthy of death, murdered by guilty, vile men yet also dying on behalf of dirty defiled people who need a Savior. It’s the love story of love stories. Our loving Lord, seeing our need for a Savior, who is also just and requires death for sin, sees our rebellion. Instead of declaring us traitors and pronouncing, “Off with their heads!” (which we deserve), He sends His son to die in our place, the blameless for the guilty.
Paul, summarizes this reality in Romans 5:1-10
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
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The Atonement is extremely important in biblical theology. If you understand one point of doctrine about the cross, understand the substitutionary atonement. “Soteriology is a doctrinal field that includes things like justification, regeneration, conversion, and sanctification. Soteriology is grounded in the atonement, the objective work of Christ. Christ’s work is grounded in his person, meaning the doctrine of the incarnation . . . presupposes the doctrine of the Trinity.” 
Leon Morris explains the significance,
“To put it bluntly and plainly, if Christ is not my Substitute, I still occupy the place of a condemned sinner. If my sins and my guilt are not transferred to Him, if He did not take them upon Himself, then surely they remain with me.
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If there is only one point or theological truth you must understand about the cross, it’s the substitutionary atonement of Christ. It’s easy to get caught up thinking the extent of the atonement is the major player at the table, after all, it’s the L in TULIP . . . there is no S. But we fail in our worship if we neglect to understand what exactly happened on the cross and why it’s important for us. God devotes much attention to developing and instructing us regarding the nature of His son’s sacrifice. His work is the foundation for our worship, both individually and corporately.… Continue reading
One of the fundamental affirmations of the Reformers was the doctrine of limited atonement, but this is something that a lot of Christians today wrestle with. It’s often posed with the question, “For whom did Christ die?” Did Christ die for everyone? Or did Christ die only for the elect? This is a really important question for the believer to work out, and one that I want to take the time to answer. Bruce Demarest, author of The Cross and Salvation, is right to say that “Christ’s death on the cross is not a peripheral issue or a secondary theme; it is the central, indeed crucial doctrine of the faith.” I think we can all readily affirm that, whether or not you believe in a limited atonement.… Continue reading