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The Perfect Substitute

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Redemption, Salvation

“Here you go, ma’am!” The rental car dealer handed me the car keys and I happily drove away. I had been involved in a fender bender and now had use of a rental car as a loaner while my car was being repaired. Though totally satisfactory as a temporary means of transportation, the substitute car, nonetheless, was not the same as my own familiar car. A more basic model, it lacked some helpful safety features that I was used to having.

There are many times when a substitute stands in for the original. A substitute teacher carries on the classwork while the regular classroom teacher is absent. Margarine served as a cheaper substitute for butter during World War II and is now nearly as popular as butter itself. A store may offer an equivalent substitute when a desired item is out of stock. A pharmacist can substitute a generic brand for a more expensive prescription drug.

Sometimes, a substitute can be just as good as — if not better than — the original item. Other times, it serves a valid purpose but is simply a temporary place filler until the original is once again available.

There is one substitute, however, that has no comparison. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, serving as the Perfect Substitute. Though each of us is guilty of sin and deserving of its due punishment, Jesus willingly chose to take our place, paying the penalty that a just God requires.

“Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from the Law. In that way, the Law could not punish us. Christ did this by carrying the load and by being punished instead of us.” (Galatians 3:13a NLV)

We can be assured that Jesus’ substitution is permanent, granting eternal life. My rental car agreement was temporary, and I, in due time, had to return it to the dealer. We never need fear that Jesus’ substitutionary act will run out. It is a once-for-all offer for all who believe in Jesus’ work of atonement on the cross. Even though we will continue to stumble and sin as we journey through life, His forgiveness, granted in response to our faith, is never-ending.

Have you placed your full trust in Jesus’ substitutionary death on your behalf? Do you have the peace that comes from knowing that your sins are forgiven and that you have eternal life?

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, what a wonderful gift You gave to humanity when You sent Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world. May we gladly receive this substitutionary gift with no reservation. Amen.

Copyright © 2022, by Gail Lundquist <>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional .
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission


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