Here in Jesus, as the very heart of God is laid bare in compassion and mercy for man, the human heart is laid bare before God, in such a way that men and women are plucked out of their isolation and estrangement and alienation, out of their hiding place in themselves, and are placed before the light of the majesty and love of God where they must acknowledge the divine judgment upon them. ‘If any man would come after me’, Jesus said, ‘let him deny himself, and follow me.’
Here then, is one who steps into our place, who claims to displace us, and demands that we renounce ourselves for him. Here is a substitution where the guilty do not simply shelter behind the innocent, but such a substitution that the guilty are faced with the light, that men and women are dragged out of their self-imprisonment and brought face to face with God in his compassion and love, for it is God himself who steps into their place and takes their status upon himself. Man is not sheltered from God but exposed to him and bound to him as never before in a bond of forgiveness and reconciliation.
T.F. Torrance – Incarnation (113)