Christ our Substitute
When I came to live in Chicago I worked a few months as a substitute teacher. A substitute teacher is a person who teaches a school class when the regular teacher is unavailable; e.g., because of illness, personal leave, or other reasons. In some regions, the qualifications for substitute teaching may not be as strict as those for a regular teacher. Some areas require a college degree and the successful completion of competency tests (this was the case in Chicago); others require only that the applicant possess a high school diploma or its equivalent; others again insist on full teaching qualifications (Now the case in Chicago). Standards are often lower for short-term substitute teachers, who may only fill in for a teacher during a short illness or personal day, compared to long-term substitutes, who may be assigned to a class for up to an entire semester. Some authorities will allow a substitute teacher without any training in the subject to be taught, who will not cover new material but will simply supervise students working independently on work previously assigned by the regular teacher. Some school administrators may not hire full-time teachers unless they have had substitute teaching experience. Often, the role of a substitute teacher may be covered by a retired teacher from that school or district; in school districts that have gone through layoffs, some furloughed teachers may substitute in the district where they previously held full-time positions.
The noun substitute is defined as one that takes the place of another; a replacement. It is also defined as to serve or cause to serve in place of another person or thing. As we can see from the above paragraph a person taking the place of a teacher, must have some kind of training or education. Most places by now require the substitute teacher to have a similar training and education; which means that the substitute teacher must be an adult.
In the game of basketball a substitute player is a member of the team, that plays as well or almost as well as the one substituted. Also, as a member of the same team, the substitute has the same interest and goal as the player being substituted. So, there is identification. So, we can see that there are requirements for a substitute:
Christ did not merely replace us. He did not merely die our death. His identity with us was complete. He carried us and our Sin in Him. So, He suffered the curse that we should suffer, but we suffered it with Him. So, His victory is our victory. Do we believe it?