...in Penal Substitutionary atonement. The atonement is multifaceted. The Bible testifies to Christ's triumph over evil - he is victor. His sacrifice is also exemplary, in that we too are to take up our cross and become Christ-like and the resurrection is still for me the central event of the gospel, for herein lies our hope but I do believe that penal substitution is at the heart of the atonement. God's wrath is not in opposition to God's love. Hatred is the opposite to love not wrath. Righteous anger is powerful and surely all of the most marvelous acts of liberation and justice would not have happened without righteous anger being a part of the spectrum of emotions which motivate people to do great things for the betterment of their fellow men and women. I believe that a caricature of penal atonement has been created. I believe that PSA has been championed too often as the only way of looking at the cross and I believe that PSA has become associated with a larger doctrinal package which also on many occasions is anti-women's ordination and pro-preaching depravity and wrath at the expense of hope and love. It is time to rescue PSA from itself, shake it free of the negatives with which it has become associated. This is not child-abuse - how can it be when we behold the beauty of a triune God. This is God sacrificing himself in the Son so that all our sin can be wiped away. If Christ did not exchange my sinfulness for his righteousness on that cross and take the punishment in my place, then how am I ever, by myself, going to be able to stand in God's presence. If God looks at me and sees the righteouness of his Son, what amazing grace is this. If he doesn't then my works will never make me righteous enough to approach him - I might as well give up now.
Because Christ submitted in obedience to his father's will, we are not required to submit to suffering when it is unjust. We should not be women trapped in violent relationships, we should not be children who accept abuse, we should not allow others to marginalise us. We should rise up just like Christ. We should turn that righteous anger we feel into something beautiful and life-giving, just like God did. Through Jesus' suffering we have life to the full, this is the life we should lead.