There are four words which every one of us should consider in connection with Christ’s death at Calvary if we would fully appreciate what our Savior did for us there.
It is doubtful whether man has ever conceived a more cruel and humiliating way to execute even the vilest criminals. The physical agony alone must have been horrible beyond comprehension. The criminal was nailed to a tree and left to hang there, writhing in the most intense pain until, fevers wracking his body, he died. And then think of the humiliation as he hung there, stripped and naked, to suffer shame and disgrace before the public gaze. Little wonder Phil. 2:8 says that Christ humbled Himself to become obedient “unto death, even the death of the cross.”
We have not even begun to understand the cross if we do not understand that Christ died there as our Substitute, paying for our sins.
But Christ was more than our Substitute; He was our voluntary Representative at Calvary. He had taken on Himself human form that He might represent man before God and die as Man for men.
It follows from this that if Christ represented me at Calvary, He became identified with me there, and I am identified with Him as I accept this by faith. Hence Paul exclaims: