We often treat the doctrine of substitutionary atonement as controversial, or negotiable. We see it as violent and abhorrent; that God would show the wrath of hell upon His own son.
I believe we see it this way because we wish to lessen the punishment we rightfully deserve, whilst under the guise of selflessness. To do away with the substitution you must not only disregard the Apostles of the new testament (1 Peter 2, 1 John 2, Romans 5, Hebrews 9:22, Ephesians 2, Titus 2)
You must disregard the whole of the sacrificial system which God has established. Establishing this for the point of understanding that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. That in sin there will always be a price to be paid.
You must also disregard the prophets preaching of the cup of wrath (Isaiah 51:17-23, Jeremiah 25:15) Again, you also see Isaiah speak of how it pleased God to crush the suffering servant (Isaiah 52-53), who shown to be Christ himself.
Furthermore, you must disregard Jesus’ own words when He is the one to drink the cup. When He prays in the garden “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”
He is about to drink of the cup of wrath. This cup is not merely the crucifixion, if it was then surely the His own manner of dying would be the peak of punishment that any human would ever have to endure. For if it was His death which saved us then surely only the the extent of His death would be measured as the thing from which we are saved. Which would seem to make little sense, given the countless Christian martyrs who would then go on to be crucified, and worse.
Instead, He drinks down the cup of wrath, and he pays the price for our sins. Is it violent? Yes. Is it filled with agony? Beyond anything we could understand. But in that, is His love for us. For if Christ new all that we would sin, and yet still chose to go to the cross for the forgiveness of sins, how much must He truly love? For it was the fathers will to see a people made for Him, out of dead bodies and enemies. And out of dead bodies and enemies, He alone created a people of newborns and adopted children. Even knowing how we would still sin, He died for us.
That’s love. That is love.