There are many implications that come into our lives because of the cross of Jesus Christ. But there may be none more important than the doctrine of substitution. Jesus died on that cross in my place for my sins. He took the wrath of God in my place. He bore what I deserved so that I could have fellowship with the Father. This is personal. It is not just some theoretical thought that Jesus died for someone. He died for me. The Apostle Paul felt it when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no long I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Because of faith, Paul was able to say that Jesus' death was personal for him. He felt the love of Jesus that He would die for him.
Today's quote comes from the great resource, The Cross and Salvation by Bruce Demarest.
"How blessed it is to realize that Christ took my place on the cross and was forsaken of God for me. For my sins he bore in his body the penalty required by a holy and just God. He appeased the divine wrath directed against my transgressions. By his death Christ delivered me from the slavery of sin and Satan, and his shed blood cleansed my sins. Through his cross the Savior reconciled and consecrated me to the waiting Father. By his death and resurrection Christ gained the victory over the spiritual foes that tormented me. No matter who else was loved, God in grace laid down his life for you and for me. Luther reflected on the personal focus of Christ's death: 'These words, 'who loved me,' are filled with faith. . . . He who was completely God gave everything He was, gave Himself for me--for me, I say, a miserable and accursed sinner. I am revived by this 'giving' of the Son of God unto death, and I apply it to myself.' Luther continued, 'Therefore read these words 'me' and 'for me' with great emphasis, and accustom yourself to accepting this 'me' with a sure faith and applying it to yourself. Do not doubt that you belong to the number of those who speak this 'me.' Christ did not only love Peter and Paul and give Himself for them, but the same grace belongs, and comes to us as to them; therefore we are included in this 'me.'" (194)