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The Ultimate Substitution

Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

Isaiah 61:7

When reading this scripture I can’t help but get caught up on the word “instead”. Instead means in place of, or as a substitute for; you were supposed to receive one thing but were given something completely different.

For the last couple of years, I have regularly used the grocery pick-up option when needing to get groceries for our home. With this option, you place the order for everything you need, online, and someone at the store gets the items for you, bags them up, and loads them in your car at the designated pick-up time. It’s amazing!

There have been times, though, that something I was supposed to get was not available or out of stock. When this happens, they make what’s called a substitution. Sometimes I look forward to substitutions because they aim to give you an upgrade or will even put multiple of the swapped out items at no additional charge. There is one instance, in particular, that stands out way above the rest.

On my list was a single rack of ribs. The ribs I was supposed to receive were not available so they made a substitution. Instead of the small rack I ordered, I was given two larger packs of ribs and each pack contained two racks. Just in case your math isn’t mathin’, that's four racks of ribs when I was only supposed to receive one!

In my pick-up order the upgrade came as quite a surprise. However, in our focal scripture, the prophet Isaiah is telling the people of Israel that they WILL receive something better than what they rightfully should get. He tells them that instead of shame and dishonor, they will get a double share of honor. Instead of poverty and sorrow, they will get prosperity and joy everlasting. We, too, can anticipate that what is coming to us is categorically better than what we deserve, if we are in Christ Jesus.

When we place our hope in Jesus, we can expect that even though what our actions have “ordered” us is shame, dishonor, bondage, poverty, and even death this is not what we will ultimately receive. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

When Jesus died on the cross for you and I, we received the ultimate substitution. INSTEAD of paying for our transgressions with our own lives, He gave His to cover our debt. Because of that sacrifice, we now have access to mercy we don’t deserve and grace we didn’t earn. Now, for those of us who have accepted the gift of Jesus, we have peace with God instead of hostility. Instead of being distant from God, we have now been drawn near, with the opportunity to approach Him boldly in prayer.

There is also the promise that the life we live here on Earth is not the end. In Revelation 21, it is promised that God will one day make all things new. He will wipe every tear from our eye; pain and suffering will be done away with forever. We can expect to be upgraded to an eternal life free of pain and suffering, and full of everlasting joy!


Lord Jesus, thank you for sacrificing your life for each one of us. Thank you for taking the guilt, shame, pain, and suffering that we deserve and instead giving us peace, joy, and honor. You, giving your life truly was the ultimate substitution, and we are grateful! As we wait for the ultimate fulfillment of your promise to end pain and suffering, and to establish Your kingdom among us, I pray that You will empower us to share your truth with others who do not know You, yet. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Written By: Britnie McDonald

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