Luke 22 verses 19 – 20 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
Today we come to the third thing that Jesus mentioned in these verses that is of tremendous importance for us to hold on to.
3. It was all done for us. That means his body was given – instead of ours being given, and his blood was poured out, instead of ours being poured out. He suffered in our place. He was our substitute.
Think back again to his blood being poured out. We should never forget that this was an event that should shock the world. It was God punishing His Son on our behalf. When we talk about Jesus dying for us, we sometimes tend to do so very glibly. But the actual event was terrible beyond belief and why was this? Because Jesus was not simply dying as the two thieves next to him did. His death was vested with something more. He carried the guilt of the world upon his shoulders and the full extent of what it would mean to suffer eternally was brought to bear upon him as he hung on the Cross.
What we sometimes lightly call “hell” or “eternal death” is what descended upon Jesus as he died on the Cross. He was dying as our substitute. To do that he had to be a true human being – and he was. But for his death to be able to pay the price of sin, he had to be God – and he was. He was the God-Man. The one and only person who could redeem a lost world. He was the only one who ever suffered hell on earth. In a way beyond our understanding he entered into the unspeakable experience of being separated from His Father and because of who he was, that experience was vested with enough value to pay for the sins of all who would put their trust in Him – no matter who they were, how they lived, or what they had done. Because of Him, mercy flows through the universe and is available to all who call upon him for forgiveness.
Now, why is this important for us? Because there are new and dangerous movements abroad in the world teaching people that Jesus did not die as a substitute. They teach that the whole idea of God punishing anybody, let alone His Son, is wrong. All you need is love, not redemption.
Do not believe this if you encounter it. The death of Jesus has got to do with the Justice of God. It is impossible for us to live in a universe where there is no ultimate justice. That would mean that all the monsters of history whose cruelty and arrogance wiped out millions, would get away with it. But NO! There is justice and a judgement day. But for those who believe, Jesus has already faced judgement for them.
This is love and hope beyond comparison. Let’s embrace it with all our hearts.