I have been thinking about this for some time. I do appreciate the examples given by James Lyons. But while these examples are thought provoking, neither the whipping boy nor the guard who lost the convict volunteered to be a substitute to pay the penalty for the guilty party. The soldier substitute is just a hired gun, missing the justice issue. There is an ancient story about a Native American chief who dealt with a rampant thievery issue during a time of drought and famine. He made a decree that the next person caught in the act of stealing would be tied to a post in the middle of the village and severely whipped. He set a trap and the apprehended thief was brought before him. It was his own mother. He gave the order to have his mom tied to the post. The brave with the whip stood ready behind her. The chief bared his own back, and stepped between them and covered his mom’s body with his own, then gave the order and took her punishment. But that is also inadequate to describe, justification by grace through faith imputing righteousness to the offender. In 77 years I have never heard of “non-religious and non-biblical sources or examples that discuss or demonstrate the idea of imputed righteousness: Where one person is allowed to suffer the legal punishment in place of another.”
The price for violating an infinite being is an infinite penalty. When there is an offense, in order for true justice to be satisfied, either the offender or the offended must pay the penalty.
Proverbs 17:15 says, “He that justifieth the wicked and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord.” & 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also hath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” The truth and love of God are on full display at the cross of Calvary.
As James Lyons rightly stated, “But for a loving God to graciously assume the infinite penalty that all mortals owe but none could ever pay is what makes such substitutionary atonement a divine solution.” I appreciate all who honestly consider and pray about this most important life issue. Thank you so very much