Why You Need a Substitute

When you don’t want sugar, but you do want sweet, what do you use? A substitute. When you don’t want the menu item as is, what do you request? A substitute.

Sugar Substitutes

(Photo: by Steve Snodgrass, Flickr: Sugar Dish. CC-BY-2.0)


Who does the school district call when the teacher can’t make it? Who does the coach put in when the player can’t take it? The pharmacist uses what, when the drug costs too much?

In every case, a substitute.

It’s a Way of Life

Substitution remains a way of life for us. When something is required, and we won’t or can’t meet the demand, a substitute is our first choice.

  • Some subs are good in dire straits, like an ambulance or a team’s pinch hitter.
  • Some subs take the heat when we wouldn’t or couldn’t, like an actor’s stand-in or stunt double.
  • Some fill a need where an absence has occurred, like a voter’s proxy or even a surrogate-dad.

In every case when something is required, and you and I can’t meet the demand, a substitute is our only option.

The fact is, every person has something required of him or her, but no one has met the demand.

Why We Need a Substitute

The requirement given to people, created in the image of God, is to live up to that image and be perfect: “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). And the penalty for such violation is condemnation (Romans 3:23). And so, because none of us meets the demand, what’s the solution?

A Substitute.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became a man and lived the perfect life we couldn’t live. He then died on a cross as the Substitute for the sins we committed. When He rose from the grave that first Easter Sunday, God proved to all that the death Christ died was sufficient to pay for the sins that demanded our death.

Forgiveness of sins is therefore given to any person who believes and trusts in Christ’s death on their behalf.

Only One Substitute Will Do

In our crisis and inability, Christ became our Substitute and satisfied the demands of a just God.

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 (1 Peter 3:18).

So how will we stand before a righteous God who requires perfection?

Substitution is our only option.

Tell me what you think: In what area of your life, work, or family have you used a substitute? To leave a comment, just click here.

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