Mathetes on the Great Exchange -
Christ took our sin on Him and gave us His righteousness. Oh believe it! Oh receive it! Christ is for you if you will take Him as a free gift. What do you give Him in return? Your sins. Love like that provokes lifelong worship of and devotion to the One who gave His life for us. This is what Christians have always understood and banked on.
"But when our wickedness had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward, punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, the one love of God, through exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatred, nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us,* He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God?
O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!"
The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
* 313 In the ms. “saying” is here inserted, as if the words had been regarded as a quotation from Isa. liii. 11.