Christ Our Spiritual Substitute
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father to pay the penalty for all human sin, make provision for all of mankind to be delivered from spiritual death and certain judgment. Jesus came to redeem mankind (1 Peter 1:18–19) through His efficacious, spiritual, substitutionary death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21–24; Isaiah 53:10–12). In the Hebrew of Isaiah 53:9 and the Greek of Col. 2:12 two deaths are mentioned:
His grave was assigned with wicked men
Yet He was with a rich man in His DEATHS,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. Is 53:9
The first death of the Savior was spiritual as darkness descended upon the cross and the Father poured out our sins upon Him and then judged Him. The great violence of this activity was hidden from the eyes of all He suffered alone in the darkness. Upon completion of His work He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
The work for our reconciliation was completed. The door was open for anyone to believe in Him and gain eternal life for He died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). He paid for our sins while still physically alive. He then dismissed His own spirit to the Father (John 10:17–18; Luke 23:46) and died physically. When the soldiers came to break His legs they found Him dead. His spiritual work on the cross paid for the sins of the world and there is no work that mankind can do to add to His work or take away from it. All that we have to do is believe in Him as our personal Savior to receive eternal life (Romans 5:9; 1 Peter 1:18–19).