“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
“For” – The death and resurrection of Christ are the ground for what we do. The word “for” carries the idea on behalf of. Jesus died on our behalf. Jesus’ death on the cross is our substitute for suffering for sin. Jesus is the only sacrifice that could ever take away sin. His sacrifice was once for all.
The word “for” explains Christ’s example of suffering for doing right (2:14). Jesus was not exempt from suffering. His perfect life outraged people. This did not intimidate him because he put his case in the hands of God. This should motivate the Christian to place our situation in the hands of God.
“Sins” interrupt the relationship between God and man (1 Co 15:3; Gal 1:4; 1 Jn 2:2). Christ’s sacrifice for sin resolves that broken relationship. He stood in our place of suffering for sin (Gal.3:13). By Jesus’ offering of himself as a sacrifice for sin, he vicariously took our place. He died once for all sin. The whole object of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross is to restore that lost relationship.
Jesus’ sacrifice was substitutionary. The Father appointed Jesus to take the place of our suffering for sin. Jesus was God’s delegate for hell. He took our hell that we might have his heaven. This is an excellent interchange, at least for us, not him.
Jesus was our stand-in for sin.
Jesus’ work on the cross was vicarious. God’s holiness demands a sacrifice for sin.
When we receive a receipt marked “Paid in full,” it is a great feeling. Jesus paid in full our sin debt.
Heb. 10:12, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”