Horatius Bonar: Christ our substitute

20 12 2011

Everyone has the experience of being ashamed or embarrassed.  Perhaps this is because you are a social outcast, perhaps it is because through pride, arrogance, or shamefulness you did something that caused your good name to be tarnished.  Perhaps a family member did something shameful that by virtue of your common name, you are associated with and thus shamed with him.  At this point, you might want nothing more than to exchange names with someone whose name is not tarnished.  Of course the Scriptures testify to this end, that we have exchanged names with Jesus Christ.  His honor, glory, and beauty have become ours.  Our shame has become his.   This is the beauty of what Bonar is driving at in teh following excerpt from his great work, The Everlasting Righteousness

To be entitled to use another’s name, when my own name is worthless; to be allowed to wear another’s raiment, because my own is torn and filthy; to appear before God in another’s person, the person of the Beloved Son, this is the summit of all blessing. The sin-bearer and I have exchanged names, robes, and persons! I am now represented by Him, my own personality having disappeared; He now appears in the presence of God for me (Hebrews 9:24). All that makes Him precious and dear to the Father has been transferred to me. His excellency and glory are seen as if they were mine; and I receive the love, and the fellowship, and the glory, as if I had earned them all. So entirely one am I with the sin-bearer, that God treats me not merely as if I had not done the evil that I have done; but as if I had done all the good which I have not done, but which my Substitute has done. In one sense I am still the poor sinner, once under wrath; in another I am altogether righteous, and shall be so for ever, because of the Perfect One, in whose perfection I appear before God. Nor is this a false pretense or a hollow fiction, which carries no results or blessings with it. It is an exchange which has been provided by the Judge, and sanctioned by law; an exchange of which any sinner upon earth may avail himself and be blest.

Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness (Banner of Truth Trust 1993 pgs 44-45)



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