The concept of substitution may be said to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices Himself for man and puts Himself were only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.
John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 1986, p. 160