Substitute : to put (a person or thing) in the place of another
When Jesus came to the earth to accomplish His mission to die for mankind’s sin He put the "tion" (action) to the verbs impute and substitute.
On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had committed every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe. Did you get that? God treated Him as if He committed, personally, every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe though the fact is He committed none of them. That’s the great doctrine of substitution. And that’s the first side of imputation. God imputed our sins to Him. He was guilty of none of them. God treated Him as if He committed all of them. And He just unloaded His fury for all the sins of all the people who would ever believe in Him in the history of the world. He unloaded all His fury against all their sins on Christ.
To borrow the language of Leviticus 16, Jesus became the “scapegoat.” The scapegoat was guilty of nothing. But the High Priest, as it were, laid all the sins of the people on the scapegoat and sent him away. He was without sin. But sin was credited to His account as if He had personally committed it and then God punished Him though the fact is He never committed any of it.
Leviticus 16:7-10 (NLT)7 Then he must take the two male goats and present them to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle.8 He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the LORD and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel.9 Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the LORD.
10 The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the LORD. When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the LORD.
Romans 5:12-19 (NLT)12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break.14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come.15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of ighteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “When Jesus came into the world why did He have to live all those years?” If I was planning the plan of redemption I’d have had Him come down on Friday, die, rise on Sunday and go back to Heaven Monday. Why 30 years? Why 30 silent years?
Jesus lived a full life was that He might live a complete life fully righteous. That He might live a complete life absolutely without sin, absolutely perfect, so that that perfect life could be credited to your account. That’s the backside of imputation. On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He lived your life so He could treat you as if you lived His life. That’s the Gospel.
John 10:11 (NLT) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.
Galatians 3:13 (NLT) 13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
1 Peter 2:22-25 (NLT) 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
Taken from "How to Escape the Fires of Hell" by Discover the Book Ministries (used by permission).
The result of the Imputation and Substitution of Jesus is Justification!