Sub, please!

If you play and/or watch sports, you know about the value of substitutes. Players get tired and need a sub. Players get hurt and need a sub. Players play poorly and need a sub. Or, in the case of my daughter’s 3rd-4th-grade basketball team, subs are rotated in every four minutes to assure equal playing time. In competitive sports, though, rarely is a team good without good bench players – substitutes. This is because even the best athletes get tired and/or hurt and need subs occasionally.


Typically, the point of a substitute is to take the place of something or someone else for reasons of unavailability, inadequacy, or recovery. Sometimes the replacement is temporary, and sometimes the replacement is permanent. Substitutes are a part of life. Sometimes we need a substitute ourselves, and sometimes we need a substitute for something or someone else upon which we rely.


Without question and without exception, every one of us has a critical need for the most important of all substitutes – someone to take the punishment we deserve for our sins. Sure, we might be able to tough our way through a minor injury without a sub. Yeah, we might be able to push through exhaustion without a sub. We might be able to endure an illness without a sub.

None of us, though, can endure the wrathful judgment of God, and so we need a sub. The judgment we deserve because of our sin is eternal death in hell, so we need a sub. No matter how hard we try, we cannot fix our sin problem and make ourselves right with our holy God, so we need a sub. For this reason – and because God loves us so much – He sent His One and Only Son Jesus to take our place, to take our punishment, to be our sub.


On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching through Hebrews 9 (“Jesus Is the Better Substitute“). Jesus is the Substitute we need to take our deserved punishment, so we can inherit eternal life. He is the better Substitute because He is the Only One who can accomplish the impossible task of making us righteous.

He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

Will you trust the Sub, then? Will you recognize your need for Him and surrender your life to Him? Only then can you receive the redemption and resulting restoration we all need.

If you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your substitutionary sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins, are you growing in your faith and reliance upon Him? Your need for the Sub is no less today than it was the day you turned to Him for the first time.

Zoe (22) playing defense in her most recent game.

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