“By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:8-9, NIV).
Theologians talk about the “great exchange” that occurred at Calvary. It was there that Jesus took the sin of the world, even my sin and your sin, upon himself, and died a death he never deserved.
Paul says in his letter to the Corinthian Church, that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). Just think about that. Jesus, who is perfection personified, took all the ugliness of our sin to the cross and to the grave, and, in exchange, he gave us all of his righteousness.
Jesus was crucified a criminal, even though he had done no wrong. And we are given eternity, even though we, on our own, have done nothing good. That is the good news of the Gospel message. Christ died for us so that we can live through him.