The 2021 Easter retreat of Greater Evangelism World Crusade started on the 1st through 4th of April 2021 with the theme " ENCOUNTER OF THE CROSS". The retreat commenced in joy as brethren glorified God during the praise and worship.
The International Director, Pastor Isaac Valentine Olori, gave the opening talk titled: "Christ our Substitute" (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 1:17-18; 15:22). He described a substitute as something that takes the place of another and Jesus took our place.
Some substitutes in the Bible include, Isaac whom God asked Abraham to sacrifice (Genesis 22). It was a costly sacrifice as Isaac was a child of promise after many years of barrenness. A ram was provided as a substitute for Isaac. Another example was the Passover lamb (Exodus 12) which became a substitute for both man and animal so the angel of death passed over. Thirdly, was the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25 – 37), who provided for the wounded traveler on his own account. It was a picture of Christ coming for our rescue. All these were temporary substitutes but the real substitute was Jesus Christ (John 10:11).
Jesus became a permanent exchange or substitute for us by the cross (John 10:11). In 2 Corinthians 5:21, imputation was used to describe salvation. Imputation means adding something good or bad to someone's account. He explicated that two imputations were made:
- Adam sinned and God imputed it on the account of every human (Romans 5:12)
- God imputed the sin of humanity into the account of Jesus.
Jesus volunteered to take up our sins and by this action, made us the righteousness of God (Hebrews 2:9, 1 Peter 2:24). This righteousness can only be received and maintained by the cross.
Speaking further from 2 Corinthians 5:21 he said:
- God made Jesus to be sin. He made Jesus a payment for sin, our sin offering. He explained that without a sin offering, there is no closure for sin. (Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 1:18-19)
- We become clothed in righteousness through Christ. For the animal to become a sin offering, the sinner must place his hand on the animal. Today, we place our hearts on Jesus, who is our sin offering and the sacrifice on the cross counts for us, God then clothes us with righteousness. He stressed that if we separate from Christ, we lose that righteousness.
- We become examples or exhibitors of righteousness. He encouraged everyone to examine themselves if we exhibit righteousness or carnality.
Concluding, he said, this was made possible through the cross. The cross procured righteousness for us.
The Son of God became the son of man so that the sons of men can become the sons of God (C.S. Lewis).