But we must not be content with a vague general belief that Christ’s sufferings on the cross were vicarious. We are intended to see this truth in every part of his passion.
We may follow him all through, from the bar of Pilate to the minute of his death, and see him at every step as our mighty substitute, our representative, our head, our surety, our proxy–the divine friend who under took to stand in our place and, by the priceless merit of his sufferings, to purchase our redemption.
Was he flogged? It was done so that “by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Was he condemned, though innocent? It was done so that we might be acquitted, though guilty.
Did he wear a crown of thorns? It was done so that we might wear the crown of glory.
Was he stripped of his clothes? It was done so that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness.
Was he mocked and reviled? It was done so that we might be honored and blessed.
Was he reckoned a criminal, and counted among those who have done wrong? It was done so that we might be reckoned innocent, and declared free from all sin.
Was he declared unable to save himself? It was done so that he might be able to save others to the uttermost.
Did he die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful death? It was done so that we might live forevermore, and be exalted to the highest glory.
~ from “The Sufferings of Christ” by J. C. Ryle in Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross: Experiencing The Passion and Power of Easter, edited by Nancy Guthrie, pp. 58-59.