We love to talk of our Lord Jesus Christ as our Substitute. We rightly say that He was acting in our place when He climbed the hill of the Cross and poured out His life even unto death. He was our Saviour and bore the brunt of our sins, He acted as our Substitute when He was standing in our place, and through Him and His precious blood we are free. But we do not use that word Substitute as much as we should.
He was a three-fold Substitute. First, in His life, by His perfect obedience — in Nazareth, in His narrow white-washed cottage, in the daily round in the carpenter's shop, making chairs and yokes and tables, pushing a plane, driving nails, for customers hard to suit, always obedient to His Father's will in the common humdrum Nazareth life — our Substitute there. We failed in obedience; He obeyed perfectly in our place as our Substitute.
Then on the Cross He was our Substitute, obeying perfectly, and perfectly satisfying God's righteousness in view of the awfulness of our sin.
And then on the resurrection morning He rose up because He was obedient; He held the title by His obedience in the place of the man who had failed, and in His obedience to death, aye, the shameful, the painful, death of the Cross; not shrinking, even at that, though it meant far more to Him than any human heart could ever take in. When He had gained the victory, He held the title to this earth.