…If you are a believer, saved from the wrath of God, you are so only because of the atoning work of Christ. If you are a Christian, destined for eternal life, you are so only because Jesus died in your place bearing the penalty due to you. He was wounded for our transgressions, and He was crushed for our iniquities. It is by His stripes that we are healed. The doctrine of substitutionary atonement, then, is not another doctrinal football intended to be kicked around on the playground of ivory tower academics. It is a truly amazing and awe-inspiring thing to contemplate. Were we to grasp more fully everything that Jesus did for each of us on the cross, our prayer, our worship, our entire lives would be transformed forever.
You can find Mathison’s full article here. For more on the book, and some great quotes from the early church, try here and here.