The essence of sin is we human beings substituting ourselves for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for us. We—put ourselves where only God deserves to be; God—puts himself where we deserve to be.  


-John Stott (The Cross of Christ)



Jesus took our place.   


It’s called substitutionary atonement.  Truth be told, we deserved to be in his shoes and the fact that he put himself in our shoes makes all the difference.  If he had passed—we’d be in a hell of a  different position.


Suststitutionary atonement is a doctrine in Christian theology which states that Jesus of Nazareth died—intentionally and willingly—on the cross as a substitute for sinners.  This doctrine presents Jesus’ death as a supreme act of love for mankind, and a heroic act to save people from hell.  It stresses the vicarious nature of the crucifixion as being ‘instead of us’.   (Wikipedia)    


The perfect giving himself for the unworthy.  The clean taking the place of the filthy.  The sinless standing in proxy for the wretched.  The spotless serving the penalty for the guilty.  

He suffered our death, our torment, and our defeat. 


And we get to walk free.


 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.   (Isaiah 53:4-6, ESV)

It is an exchange of incalculable proportions.