The Divine Exchange




John Hoole - August 29, 2010





(CREDIT: Much of this lesson can be found

in Derek Prince's book, Bought With Blood)


Click on charts, maps and photos for larger version)






They are presented to us in a list in Exodus 20:1-17In this chapter, how does God give the commandments to the Israelites?  They are given verbally.  They would not be written down on stone until Exodus 31:18. 

The first 17 verses has God speaking from Mount Sinai, amid thundering, lightning, fire and smoke.  After God finishes giving the Israelites the 10 Commandments, they are terrified.


Exodus 20:18-21 NKJV


18     Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.

19     Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die."

20     And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin."

21     So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.


In the previous chapter - Exodus 19:6 - God had stated He wanted the entire nation to be a "kingdom of priests."  But, to be a priest of God, one must talk with God.  But, because of fear, they didn't want to talk to God directly.  They said, "Moses, you speak with us, and we will hear what you tell us.  Just don't let God speak to us directly." So, in verse 21, we find Moses drew near to where God was, but the people shrank back and stood afar off.


The question for us is: Are you and I going to go to where God is, or, like the Israelites, are we going to stand afar off.


Today's lesson also begins in Exodus 20 - covering the remainder of that chapter.  We just read that Moses drew near to God.  God speaks to Moses.


Exodus 20:22-26 NIV


22     Then the Lord said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites this: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:

23     Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

24     "'Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.

25     If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

26     And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.'


For today's lesson, I want to pay particular attention to verses 24 & 25.  The NKJV renders these verses as:


24     An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you.

25     And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it.


Pay close attention to God's instruction to the Israelites with regard to constructing an altar.  It has much meaning for us today.  Their altar was to be made only of materials in their natural condition.  They are not to be modified in any way by man.  They are to be earth or unhewn stone.  Anything added by human hands would defile it.  This is how we approach God.  There is nothing we can to with our own efforts and hands that would improve us prior to coming to the cross for salvation.  No effort on our part will ever save us.


Further on, in Deuteronomy 16:21 (NKJV), the Lord warned his people:


21     "You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the Lord your God.


There was to be nothing that would distract the attention of the Israelites from the altar on which they were to offer their sacrifices.  This was not to be a place of human art or ingenuity that might divert their attention from the crude, stark simplicity of the altar.


That is a lesson for us, too.  We are not to surround the cross with anything.  We are to put nothing on the cross on in front of the cross that would in any way obscure it.  The cross is stark, just as the crucifixion of Jesus was a stark and horrible scene.


The cross is at the Center


Now, I would like to take a picture from the prophet Isaiah to illustrate this point further.  The cross is the center of all God's provision.  The whole Gospel centers on the cross.


Outline of the Book of IsaiahHow many chapters are in the book of Isaiah?  There are 66.


         How many books are in the Bible?  The same, 66.


Our Bible is divided into two major sections - the Old & New Testaments.


         How many books are in the Old Testament?  There are 39.  How many books in the New Testament?  There are 27.


The book of Isaiah is divided similarly.  There are two major sections to this prophet's book.  The first section is chapters 1 to 39.  The second section are the last 27 chapters - 40 to 66.  My study Bible - the Dakes Anotated Bible - has a note at the beginning of chapter 40  It reads:  Part Two.  The latter 27 chapters have often been called the Gospel in the Old Testament.


These 27 chapters are further divided, in turn, into three sets of nine chapters each.


         •  Chapters 40 - 48

         •  Chapters 49 - 57

         •  Chapters 58 - 66


One feature of these three sets of nine chapters is very interesting and significant.  Each one ends with an emphatic declaration that God will never compromise with sin.


Isaiah 48 ends with these words:


         "There is no peace," says the Lord, "for the wicked."


Turning to the last verse of Isaiah 57, we read:


         "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."


                   This is almost identical with the previous.


Turning to the last verse of chapter 66, we find:


Isaiah 66:24 NKJV


24     "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." 


The words are not identical, but the truth is the same.  Those who have transgressed and not repented will represent an eternal spectacle of the judgment of God.  Each of these three sections of 9 chapters ends with a similar declaration, that in spite of all His mercy, God will never compromise with sin that is not confessed and renounced.


The middle section of these three sets of 9 chapters is chapters 49 - 57.  The middle chapter of this section is Isaiah 53.  I want us to look at this chapter.  But the prophecy really begins in the last three verse of chapter 52.


Isaiah 52:13 NKJV


13     Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently.


The word "behold" introduces the words "My Servant" a title given here to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.


You may need to look at your Bible, but if you add the last three introductory verse of chapter 52 to all 12 verses of chapter 53, you will get five sets of three verses each:


         1.      Isaiah 52:13-15

         2.      Isaiah 53:1-3

         3.      Isaiah 53:4-6

         4.      Isaiah 53:7-9

         5.      Isaiah 53:10-12


You can see that the middle set of this middle chapter of the middle section is Isaiah 53:4-6.  Some might call this coincidental, since chapter and verse numbers were not given by the writers of Scripture.  I believe it is by divine appointment, because the truth it reveals lies at the absolute center and heart of the total message of the Gospel.


Consider what it says in three verses:


Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJV


4       Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

5       But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

6       All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


What is the problem of the human race?  What have we all done?  Here is the diagnosis of the Bible.  We have not all committed adultery - nor gotten drunk - nor stolen.  But there is one thing each of us has done.  We have turn to our own way, which is not God's way.  And God describes that as iniquity.




Some would say that the best modern equivalent is rebellion.  The root problem of humanity is rebellion against God.  This human problem is universal.  All of us, Jew or Gentile, Catholic or Protestant, Asian, American or African, without exception, have gone our own way.  We are all in the same category - we are rebels.


The word "iniquity" in Hebrew is AVONIt is important to understand that it means not merely rebellion, but all the consequences of rebellion, the punishment of rebellion and all that rebellion brings on those who are guilty.  Let me state that again, differently.  Iniquity is not just the sin that has been committed.  Iniquity includes the result of one's rebellion against God.  It includes the sin and the resultant punishment.


Let me show you what I mean by looking at three Old Testament verses.  I don't want anyone to think I am speaking some fanciful interpretation of the Bible.  For instance, listen to Cain after he heard God's sentence on the murder of his brother.


Genesis 4:13 KJV


13     And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.


The Hebrew word for punishment is AVON.  Cain's iniquity and punishment of it were both included in one word.  They were greater than he could bear.


Here is another example.  When King Saul asked the witch of Endor to bring up Samuel for him in a seance, the punishment for witchcraft was death in the land of Israel.  But King Saul promised the witch: "As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing" (1 Sam. 28:10)Once again, the Hebrews word for punishment is AVON.  Saul assured the witch that she would not be held guilty for her actions and that punishment would not come upon her.


In a third example, we see the word AVON twice in Lamentation 4.


Lamentations 4:6 NKJV


6       The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people...


The entire phrase "The punishment of the iniquity," comes from one Hebrew word - AVON.  It could easily be translated: iniquity or the punishment of the iniquity.  And again, in verse 22 of the same chapter:  "the punishment of your iniquity is accomplished..."  Once again, the first 5 words of English comes from one Hebrew word:  AVON.


So the word AVON means rebellion, the punishment for rebellion and the evil consequences of rebellion.  So when we turn back to Isaiah 53, we understand that the Lord laid on the suffering Servant the rebellion of us all, including the punishment of our rebellion and its consequences.


This leads to a fundamental truth - a key, that unlocks all the treasures of God's provision on the Cross.  Look at our passage in Isaiah 53 again.


Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJV


4       Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

5       But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

6       All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


Do you see the "Divine Exchange?"  Do you recognize that what was due to happen to us was transferred to Christ?


         •  He bore our griefs.

         •  He carried our sorrows.

         •  He was wounded for our transgressions.

         •  He was bruised for our iniquities.

         •  He was punished so we could have peace.

         •  He took on himself the stripes in his body for our healing.


         Verse 6 sums it up with the statement: The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


Again I ask, do you see the Divine Exchange?  All the evil and punishment due, by divine justice, to come to us, WAS TRANSFERRED TO JESUS, so that all the good and reward due to Jesus - earned by His sinless obedience, MIGHT BE MADE AVAILABLE TO US.  Christ bore and carried upon himself all the punishment that you and I deserved, so that all He deserved was extended to you and me.


Now let me list for you nine aspects of this Divine Exchange.  I will just list them here.  Next week we will look at each of them more fully.


 Aspects of the Divine ExchangeAs I list these nine aspects of the Cross, take note of the opposites.


1.      Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.


2.      Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.


3.      Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness.


4.      Jesus died our death that we might share His life.


5.      Jesus was made a curse that we might receive His blessing.


6.      Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance.


7.      Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory.


8.      Jesus endured our rejection that we might enjoy His acceptance.


9.      Our old man died in Jesus that the new man might live in us.


When considering each of the nine benefits gained from the cross, we must remember that we will never be able to find any reason you or I deserve His exchange.  It is the outworking of God's sovereign grace.  And it is the expression of His measureless love.


The key word is GRACE.  Grace is something you can never earn or deserve.  Most religious people do not enjoy God's grace because they are trying to earn it.  But there is no way to earn what God did for you through the death of Jesus on the cross.  There is only one way to receive it. - by believing it.  Stop trying to earn it.


Quit trying to persuade yourself that you are almost good enough.  You are not and you never will be!  The only way you can receive the provision of Jesus on the cross is by faith.


Why did God send His own Son to the cross in our place?  He did so because He loves us.  Why does God love us?  The Bible never offers an explanation, and eternity is too short to find out.  We do not deserve it, we did not earn it and there is nothing in us to warrant His incredible sacrifice.  It was a sovereign act of Almighty God.




I have tried to show that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross provided everything that will ever be needed, for time and eternity, for every believer.  Salvation is not just getting your sins forgiven, although, thank God, that is an essential part of it!  Salvation is the total provision of God for His people through the sacrifice of Jesus.


Earlier, I made you aware of the full scope of the Hebrew word, AVON.  We saw how its English translation is INIQUITY, but has a broader scope that just talking about sin.  It includes, as well, the punishment and consequence of the sin.


Now I want you to take a look at a Greek word.  In an earlier lesson - titled, "Why I Believe In Divine Healing" I presented on Hebrew word and 5 Greek words translated in HEALING in English.  One of those Greek words was SOZO - pronounced "sode' zoh."  This Greek word is most often translated as "SAVE" - 88 times.  Theologians have a word for one of the great doctrines – Soteriology – doctrine of salvation.  Here is a chapter heading in my Systematic Theology textbook.  It is taken from the Greek word, SOTER, which means “Savior.”  Soter and Sozo come from the same root.


Like the Hebrew word, AVON, which is translated "iniquity," but has a broader meaning than just the talking about the sin(s) committed, likewise, the Greek word SOZO has a broader meaning than forgiveness of sins.  Eighteen times, this Greek verb, SOZO, is tranlsated HEALED.


Mark 6:56 (NIV) reads:


56     And wherever he went — into villages, towns or countryside — they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed [SOZO].


Take a look at the woman that had an issue of blood, who touched the hem of Jesus' garment.


Matthew 9:21 NKJV


21     For she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well."


                   What she was actually saying was, "I shall be saved."


In Luke 8, we find the record of the man with a legion of demons.  When Jesus cast them out, he became perfectly normal


Luke 8:35-36 NKJV


35     Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

36     They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed [sozo].


Deliverance from demons is also included in what the word, SOZO, includes.  This is included in what Jesus provided on the cross.


Now look at Luke 8:49-50 NKJV


49     While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher."

50     But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, "Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well."


The last five word in English - "she shall be made well" - come from one Greek word, that is a derivative from  the word, SOZO.  So, the salvation Jesus provided on the cross included being brought back from the dead.


Salvation in Jesus Christ is much more than just forgiveness of sin, as monumental as that is, but includes much for - healing of body, raising from the dead, and more.


After Peter and John spoke to the man at the Temple's Gate Beautiful, and he was healed, in Acts 4, Peter spoke to the Sanhedrin, who questioned them how this man was made whole [SOZO].  Just two verses later (Acts 4:12), Peter says:


         "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."


We often use that verse to speak about forgiveness of sins.  But, in actuality, Peter is linking it to healing, which is included in Christ's death on the cross.