Vicarious – that was a big word for this one-time college freshman. Dr. Robert Black, our Bible professor said, Jesus was our vicarious sacrifice.
I understood it I suppose. Someone acts on my behalf when I cannot. In a representational democracy someone represents not only my district but me when there is a vote on a spending bill.
Likewise, I could think of the soldiers fighting in foreign wars like the cousins who were a few years older than I. They had gone off to war to fight for the people, that is, the citizens of their homeland. On Memorial Day we pause to remember the fallen soldiers who were defending freedom for the people of their homeland. That was a vicarious sacrifice.
The Apostle Paul made clear the connection. Jesus is our vicarious sacrifice for sin. Listen to these words from Romans 8: 3-4
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did in sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so, he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
As we prepare to take communion today may we remember Jesus is our vicarious sacrifice. He offered the self-sacrifice on our behalf, when he died on the cross at Calvary.
Prayer: Almighty God, as we take this loaf and cup, we the people – one and all – humbly recall the sacrifice of Jesus for us, the chosen one for all.