The Divine Exchange

I find no guilt in him. (John 18:38)

The trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the greatest travesty of justice in human history. He was examined and found not guilty; yet was condemned to death by crucifixion–the worse form of death under Roman laws reserved for criminals. And under Jewish laws, it was a curse (Deut 21:23, Gal 3:13).

On three counts, Jesus was declared not guilty after cross-examination; yet the people called for His crucifixion “Pilate…went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.”Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”…When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him !” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” (John 18:38, 19:4,6).

He didn’t deserve to die the death He died, but again, it was His mission. His death was divinely ordained to exchange for the life of sinners to reconcile us to God through faith . He died the death sinful humanity deserved to die so He will appease the wrath and justice of God. Christ’s death was a divine exchange—the life of the sinless one for the life of sinful ones.

The most horrendous of all these was the exchange of Christ’s life for the life of a robber–Barabbas (John 18:40). In a true spiritual sense, that robber is symbolic of all sinful humanity. We are sinners standing guilty before the throne of God awaiting judgement. But we can’t answer before God because all of our good deeds cannot satisfy His wrath and justice. Hopeless as it were, God showed us mercy and love by giving us a worthy substitute exchanging the life of a perfect man for sinful lives as ours that through faith we will be reconciled to God.

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8).

Further Studies: Genesis 3:15-16, 21, Isaiah 53:4-8, Matthew 1:21, Acts 2:22-24, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15

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