Surprised by Hell: Substitionary Atonement

[I’m filling in some gaps in my own research by reading through Fudge’s The Fire that Consumes. I’m posting multiple posts today, as I want to get finished and move to the next topic.]

One of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity is substitutionary atonement, that is, that Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross.

Key passages are —

(Isa 53:4-6) Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(2 Cor 5:21) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(1 Tim 2:5-6) For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men — the testimony given in its proper time.

(1 Pet 2:24) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

(1 Pet 3:18) For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

Now, if Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, what is the price for our ransom?

Well, death.

If he suffered our punishment, what was that punishment?

Well, torture, beatings, and an agonizing death.

But I thought the price for our sins was everlasting torment? How long was Jesus tormented?

Well, about a day.

As the movie The Passion of the Christ shows, the punishment was unspeakable. It was torment. It was agony. It’s effects are everlasting. But Jesus was not tortured forever for our sins.

If the just and fair price for our sins is everlasting torture, how could Jesus have paid that price in a day?

(See Fudge, p. 142 ff for more detail)

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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One Response to Surprised by Hell: Substitionary Atonement

  1. Oooo says:

    I believe it is to break the power of death.

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