The completeness of the substitution comes out more fully at the cross. There
the whole burden pressed upon Him, and the wrath of God took hold of Him,
and the sword of Jehovah smote Him; He poured out His soul unto death, and
He was cut off out of the land of the living.
Then the work was done. “It is finished.” The blood of the burnt-offering was
shed. The propitiation was made; the transgression finished; and the everlasting
righteousness brought in.
All that follows is the fruit or result of the work finished on the cross.
The grave is the awful pledge or testimony to His death as a true and real
death; but it forms no part of the substitution or expiation. Ere our surety
reached the tomb, atonement had been completed. The resurrection is the blessed
announcement of the Father that the work had been accepted and the surety set
free; but it was no part either of the atonement or the righteousness. The
ascension and the appearing in the presence of God for us with His own blood,
are the carrying out of the atonement made upon Calvary; but they are no part
of the expiation by means of which sin is forgiven and we are justified. All
was finished, once and for ever, when the surety said, “Father, into Thy hands
I commend my spirit.”
Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness