Herman Bavinck – Vicarious Satisfaction

7 Sep

The mystical and moral interpretation of Jesus’ suffering and death cannot even be maintained if it is not acknowledged beforehand that in a legal sense he suffered and died in our place. Now this is what Scripture teaches in the clearest terms, even though it does not use the expression “vicarious satisfaction” any more than the words “Trinity,” “incarnation,” “God-man,” and so on. For when it says that Christ, though personally without sin, has been put forward as an expiation to show God’s righteousness [Rom. 3:25], has been made to be sin for us [2 Cor. 5:21], became a curse for us [Gal. 3:13], bore our sins in his body on the tree [1 Pet. 2:24]; that God condemned sin in his flesh [Rom. 8:3] and punished him with the accursed death on the cross and that through him we now receive reconciliation and forgiveness, righteousness and life, indeed total and complete salvation–then we can construe the interconnection between all these scriptural pronouncements in no other way than that Christ put himself in our place, has borne the punishment of our sin, satisfied God’s justice, and so secured salvation for us.

~Herman Bavinck~

Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 3: Sin and Salvation in Christ (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2006) p. 398.

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