Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

I need a substitute.

Basketball Training 2006

This week’s devotions are based on this week’s message: Shadows: A Glimpse of a Substitute!  (WATCH HERE)

When do you need a substitute?

When playing basketball, a coach will put a substitute in when a player is tired, in foul trouble, or just not performing like he wants.

In baking, you use a substitute when you are out of what the recipe calls for and don’t want to run to the store to get the main ingredient. 

Sometimes you find a substitute for something you don’t want to do.

Sometimes you need a substitute when you are sick or on vacation.

A substitute stands in for the original to perform a task they are unable, unwilling, or unqualified to do.

Genesis 22:12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” 

Just as Abraham had told Isaac, “The Lord will provide the lamb for the sacrifice,” so the Lord did.  Isaac’s life was spared and in his place was provided a ram.

The phrase that captures the role of a substitute is the phrase, “Instead of.”  The ram was sacrificed as a burnt offering “instead of” his son.

God didn’t eliminate the need for a sacrifice that day.  He however allowed Isaac to climb off the altar and let his father untie his hands.  In place of Isaac a ram who was caught in a thicket was caught and his life ended that day.

Imagine the thoughts that may have gone through Abraham’s mind as he lifted his knife and slit the throat of the ram, relieved that he didn’t have to do that to his son.  Imagine the relief of Isaac as the life of the ram left and the fire consumed the animal, relieved that his life was spared.

Imagine your thoughts and mine as we watch our Savior Jesus hang on the cross paying for our sins instead of us.  Imagine your thoughts and mine as we see Jesus suffer the agony of hell, being separated from his heavenly Father, instead of us.

The ram was the substitute for Isaac.  The Lamb is the substitute for us.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Isaiah 53:5-7 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.  7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 

The greatest substitution ever performed was God pulling us out of the “saving” game and inserting his Son.  He knew our life and our performance would never amount to the perfection he demanded and so was willing to send his Son to live and die in our place…instead of us…as our substitute.

2 Corinthians 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. 


Apply: What gratitude comes to mind as you see a glimpse of Jesus as your substitute in the ram that was sacrificed instead of Isaac?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for willingly taking my place, as my substitute on the cross.  AMEN.

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