At the heart of Christianity is the Doctrine of Substitution. Substitution is the true meaning of Christ’s death because he sacrificed Himself in the place of condemned sinners to satisfy God’s holy wrath and righteous judgment against sin. This is also described as vicarious from the Latin word meaning “one in place of another.”
The death of Christ is “vicarious” in the sense that Christ is the Substitute who bears the punishment rightly due sinners, their guilt being imputed to Him in such a way that He representatively bore their punishment. He took my place on the cross; that’s a debt that I can never repay!
John Murray said, “Christ discharged the debt of sin. He bore our sins and purged them. He did not make a token payment which God accepts in place of the whole. Our debts are not cancelled; they are liquidated.”
Thank God that Jesus took my place on the cross.