Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm


The Last Seven Words of Christ: The word of substitution


What does the term “substitute” mean to you? You probably think of a substitute teacher or substitute ingredient. If you’re a Christian, it means something far more serious. Jesus died for your sins—the ones you have already committed and any future sins you will commit. In effect, He was a substitute for you when He hung on the cross. We can all rejoice that God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate price on our behalf.

Bottom Line:   

Something To Talk About:

Nothing hurts more than abandonment. During the dark hours of Jesus’ Crucifixion, he cried out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” In this message, we look at what the word substitution teaches us about the holiness of God and the cost of salvation.

  1. God is holy: “Isaiah 6: 1-5, we learn about Isaiah’s unique encounter with God. There is a progression in his throne-room vision of God. What he sees utterly terrifies him – God is high and lifted up, and the train of His robe fills the temple. He is beyond comprehension. In the vision, he sees and hears angelic creatures crying out, “Holy, holy, holy.” Isaiah sees a glimpse of God’s absolute holiness and he finds himself utterly devastated. He feels a profound sense of dread in the presence of a holy God. He realizes that God is holy, perfect, and pure and that he is, by comparison, unclean, impure, and sinful.  The God of the Bible is a Holy God.  As we meditate on God’s supreme holiness, we cannot help being overcome with a sense of awe. The psalmist tells us, “Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him.” (Psalm 96:9).   
  2. Sin is ugly: As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel. For all people are mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezekiel 18:3-4). Some people think that people don’t need to be told that they’re sinners because they already know they’re sinners. Now, while it’s true people may realize in some way that they’ve sinned against God, what they don’t understand is the seriousness of that sin in God’s eyes.  If you don’t believe that sin is horrible in the sight of God, then all you need to do is look at the cross. The cross is God’s bold exclamation point on sin’s seriousness and cost. It’s the sin of all mankind that put Jesus Christ to that horrible death. Yes, sin is very ugly. And apart from the grace we receive through faith in Christ, it also makes us ugly. But when Christ invades your life, that ugliness of sin is taken away and the righteousness of God is put in its place. And when that happens, we can recognize the repulsiveness of sin and flee from it each day! 
  3. Salvation is costly: The wages of sin is death, and we can escape that death by putting our faith in Jesus Christ.  However, that leaves the question of the death.  If the penalty for sin is death, then who died? Jesus paid the price of sin for us.  In the hours leading to His crucifixion, the Lord was mocked, beaten, and humiliated. After being forced to carry the cross, He was nailed to it and hoisted up to die an excruciating death.  He suffered abandonment. In the final hours, Jesus was separated from His Father (Mark 15:34). Our sin was the barrier that kept them apart until the work of atonement was finished (John 19:30).  God’s wrath was poured out upon our Lord because of man’s sin. Christ experienced the condemnation we deserved. Our Savior suffered greatly on our behalf so we might become part of God’s family (John 1:12). We can never forget the cost of our salvation. Let’s allow the magnitude of His selfless gift to inspire a loving response. The salvation that we have has cost Jesus Christ His life. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you react to the idea of substitution? Why would Christ feel forsaken by God?
  2. God is holy. How do we get our arms around that fact?
  3. What does holiness mean to you? Do you know anyone in your personal life who exemplifies holiness? 
  4. How is sin ugly in your mind?
  5. Why would God send His Son to die for His enemies, and why would Jesus be willing to do it? What does this say about God’s love for you and others?
  6. What do you think mostly about when you think about what your salvation costs?
  7. Why do you think God’s price for our salvation was worth it to Him?
  8. When we learn how much God paid for our salvation, what does that tell us about how He views sin and how we should view it?
  9. How do you express your gratitude for what Jesus did for you?
  10. What was your main takeaway from this week’s message?

Take One Thing Home with You:

Our incredible salvation came at an incredible cost. Romans 3:23 teaches, ” For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard..” We’re all born into sin. Evil isn’t what we do; it’s who we are. Romans 3:10 confirms, No one is righteous— not even one.“The cost of faith is so high that none of us could pay it, not with a lifetime of good works. The true cost of salvation is found in the blood of Christ.

Although He never sinned, Jesus took our punishment on Himself. He was tortured and crucified in our place. This means you can’t come to God through any of your works. You can’t do anything to earn God’s love or His favor. What it costs was covered by Christ. Your salvation has been made available by the complete work of Christ applied to your life.