Derek Prince - What Exactly Happened On The Cross
Now, I want to share with you out of Scripture what I learned as a result of that experience. I set my mind to find out what had been accomplished by the death of Jesus on the cross. And I want to tell you: I’m still finding out. It’s an inexhaustible study. But I’ll share with you what I believe is the key to understanding the cross. The key is that on the cross, a divinely ordained exchange took place. All the evil that was due by justice to the human race, to each of us individually, was visited upon Jesus. So that all the good, due to the sinless obedience of Jesus, might be made available to us who believe. That’s very simple, it’s very basic. But as that truth unfolds it contains everything you’ll ever need. I’m going to say it even more simply: All the evil due to us came upon Jesus, that all the good due to Jesus, might be made available to us. That was the grace of God.
We had no claim upon God, we couldn't even demand that He do it. We didn’t even know He was going to do it, we couldn't understand what He was doing. But out of His free sovereign measureless grace He arranged that exchange. And furthermore, through His prophets, He had predicted it hundreds of years before it took place. Perhaps the main predictive prophecy is Isaiah 53. I want to turn there now and look at some of what is stated in Isaiah 53. It speaks about an unnamed servant of the Lord. His name is not given. But the apostles and the writers of the New Testament were all unanimous in an understanding that this unnamed servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53, was Jesus of Nazareth. And we’re going to look at just one verse for a moment.
Isaiah 53:6, this is the central verse of the last 27 chapters of Isaiah. And it really is the central verse of the atonement. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him, that’s Jesus, the iniquity or the guilt, or the rebellion, of us all. What is the universal guilt of the human race? We have not all robbed a bank or committed adultery, or stolen, or got drunk. There are many things we can say we haven’t done. But there’s one thing we’ve all done: We have turned every one to his own way. And that, in one simple word, is rebellion.
Rebellion is the universal guilt of the human race. No matter what nation, no matter what color, no matter what race. We are all guilty of rebellion. The mercy of God is that when Jesus hung on the cross, the Lord visited upon Him the iniquity, or the guilt or the rebellion of us all. That word in Hebrew, and I will not take time tonight to quote passages from the Old Testament, but that Hebrew word, avon, means not only guilt or rebellion. But it means also all the evil consequences of guilt. The same word means both.
So God visited upon Jesus on the cross the guilt or rebellion of the whole human race and all the evil consequences of rebellion. So that we might be freed from those evil consequences and receive the benefits of the righteousness of Jesus. Now we’re going to look at about eight or maybe nine, it depends on how much time we have, aspects of that exchange. I want you to grasp this very clearly. I’m going to do it with my left hand for the evil and my right hand for the good. The evil came upon Jesus, that the good might be made available to us.
Let’s look now at some specific aspects of the exchange. We’ll look, first of all, at the two previous verses of Isaiah 53. Verse 4-5: Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, or His wounds, we are healed. There are two aspects to those verses. There’s the spiritual and there’s the physical. The spiritual first: Jesus was punished for our transgressions and our iniquities. And because He was punished, we can be forgiven. And being forgiven, we have peace with God.
As long as we are unforgiven, we have no peace with God. Peace with God comes only through forgiveness. But forgiveness has been made possible, because Jesus bore the punishment for our iniquities. So, I want to do it very simply. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Right now, I want you to share with me on this. I want you to use your hands. I want you to get really involved with your total being in this truth. Watch me once and then I’m going to ask you to do it together. Jesus was punished, that we might be forgiven. All right? Now we’re going to say it all together. With your left hand, the evil; the right hand, the good. And remember, your right hand is opposite my left. Don’t get confused about that. Except for those of you who are behind me. All right. Are you ready? Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.