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The Marvel of Substitutionary Atonement

“Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood,
sealed my pardon with his blood: Hallelujah, what a Savior!”

“And can it be that I should gain, An int'rest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?”

“My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! my sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more; praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

“Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—Here in the death of Christ I live.”

Few truths are more celebrated in the church’s music than the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. This is because few truths are more central to Christianity than the marvel that Jesus Christ died in our place (as a substitute) to pay the just penalty for our sin (atonement).

And yet not only is this glorious doctrine too easily taken for granted, it has been challenged in recent years as being too narrow (excluding other aspects of atonement), too new (a product of the Protestant reformation), and much too violent (turning the cross into divine child abuse).

Are we right to place so much emphasis on the substitutionary nature of Christ’s work on the cross? What do we make of the charges? What’s at stake in losing this doctrine? And most importantly, what does the Bible actually say about it?

Join us this year for our annual all-church retreat at Sandy Island as we explore the marvel of Christ’s substitutionary atonement:

  • The Pattern: Substitutionary Atonement in the Old Testament
  • The Person: Jesus our Substitute (the witness of the Gospels and Acts)
  • The Power: Substitutionary Atonement in the New Testament Letters

Click here to learn more about Sandy Island (Sept. 9-11, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH).