Length: 216 pp
Author: Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence
In 2007 Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach wrote an excellent, thorough, and important defense of penal substationary atonement entitled Pierced for our Transgressions. It is a book for the serious student. Dever and Lawrence set out to compliment that book with this collection of sermons tracing the theme of substitution progressively through the Bible. It Is Well is not only more assessable, but here penal substitionay atonement is Biblically defended, reveled in, and applied.
It’s amazing when you think about it that God’s meeting place with man, the place where atonement would be made, was in the very symbol of his holiness and righteousness. This room, separated physically and by rules – with the ark of the covenant, the bowing cherubim, the law written by God’s own hand – is where not only God’s righteousness and holiness but also his mercy would be shown most clearly.
Contrary to what liberal theologians like to say about the symbolic meaning of the cross, the good news is that there is nothing symbolic about it. The symbols were in the Old Testament; they were given so that when the real thing happened, we’d know what we were looking at. When Jesus was lifted up on the cross, he wasn’t making a symbolic statement about the power of faith over the meaninglessness of life. No, he was making atonement for sin, as only he could do.
You are included in that wide-open whoever if you will turn away from your rebellion and put your faith in the God whose love is measured not by your feelings but by his actions – a love measured by the span of a wooden beam and nail-pierced hands. Oh, friend, look to Jesus today and be saved.
So this is the scene: the Judge of the world condemned by a corrupt court. The true High Priest to be murdered by an unholy counterfeit. The lamb of God sacrificed by the high priest as a political scapegoat.
Atheists like Hitchens and Dawkins may, if they’re honest, admit the strange pervasiveness of moral evil, but they have no real explanation for it. It’s like a coin flipped six billion times always coming up tails. I think something’s going on there.