Understanding the great truths of the Word of God is so very important for a lasting faith in the Lord. The above is one of those truths. It unlocks so much truth it enlightens the quickened spirit of the believer. It makes a Christian rejoice in heart.
Vicarious atonement are two biblical words we don’t use every day. Yet their meaning is very important in our understanding of what the Lord has done for us. The word vicarious means suffered, undergone or done as the substitute for another from the Latin vicarious -substituted. The word atonement means to cover, reparation. Put those together it means for us that Jesus the Lamb of God was our substitute dying in our place and His sinless shed Blood is our atonement our covering from the wrath of God.
Let’s dig a bit deeper.
Please turn to Isaiah ch53 in verse 7 it says ‘He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb’. It is no coincidence that it is midway because in the verses before this there are seven expressions of vicarious atonement viewed from the human side (see also Leviticus ch16 vs1-22) while in the verses following vs7 are another seven expressions of vicarious atonement viewed from the divine side (see see also eviticus ch23 vs26-32).
From the human side
1. Vs4 – He hath borne our griefs.
2. Vs4 – And carried our sorrows.
3. Vs5 – He was wounded for our transgressions.
4. Vs5 – He was bruised for our iniquities.
5. Vs5 – The chastisement of our peace is on Him.
6. Vs5 – And with His stripes we are healed.
7. Vs6 – And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Notice it is OUR griefs , our, our ,our all seven are from our human side of the Cross. Each of these 7 statements expresses one distinct aspect of our Lords substitutionary and representative identification with us, until the final comprehensive statement is reached in vs 6 and the Lord hath laid in Him the iniquity of us all. Which makes our Lord’s death on our behalf an act of God . Not just a deed of men , not just a crucifixion of man but a vicarious atonement.
As we look at verse 8 and onward we find 7 expressions of vicarious atonement viewed from the divine side.
1. Vs8 – for the transgressions of my people he was stricken.
2. Vs10 – Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.
3. Vs11 – By his knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many.
4. Vs11 – For he shall bear their iniquities.
5. Vs12 – He was numbered with the transgressors.
6. Vs12 – And he bore the sins of many.
7. Vs12 – And made intercession for the transgressors.
So there we have it vicarious atonement as seen from the human side of the Cross and vicarious atonement as seen from the Divine side of the Cross. And right in between the two sevens is “He is brought as a LAMB to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb”
This is where God has put the Lamb – Absolutely Central in our redemption and salvation. Our vicarious atonement.
What a wonderful plan of redemption.