“The Lord Jesus Christ did not come into the world to meet with His friends. He came to die for His enemies. He came to a people who had rejected His law and killed His prophets, who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, trampling His courts in the hypocrisy of their self-righteous religious observances.
He came to nations that had exchanged the truth of the living God for a lie, the glory of the immortal God for man-made images, and the fountain of living water for cracked and broken cisterns. He came to a world stained with violence, to a people whose hands were full of blood and whose righteous deeds were like filthy rags, to a complacent humanity who proclaimed ‘Peace! Peace!’ while they waged war with God.
This is the biblical portrait of the people for whom Christ died. We were objects of wrath, rightly facing the unmitigated, everlasting fury of an incensed God, but now in Christ we have found mercy. We have been brought from death to life, from corruption to glory. We were slaves to sin, the world and the devil, but are now adopted children of our heavenly Father.
We were stained with the filth of a wicked life and tormented by the pain of a guilty conscience, but are now pardoned and forgiven, standing blameless before Him as a pure bride, clothed in the clean, white robes of Christ’s righteousness.”
–Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach, Pierced For Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2007), 152.