This is about something I am only now begining to understand. Starting from penal substitution theory and working through to our salvation and what is involved. So this could otherwise be a long read so I would rather cut to the case and say that is quite clear that penal substitution is taught in the Bible. It’s hard to avoid. But what dose it mean? Does it mean as a currently popular worship song asserts that God the Father turned His face away from His Son? Verse 24 of Psalm 22 would say not. I’m not at all sure I would ever be able to trust God if He did. Further in Romans 5 v8 we read that God demonstrates His love for us that while we’re still sinners Christ died for us. Who was the demonstration for - for us! Everywhere human engagement with the fear of the unknown was propitiated with sacrifice. For Jew and Gentile this was universally true. We need to see the sacrifice. God does not desire it. Ps 51 vs 16-17 ; Hosea 6 vs6 Every reference to it in the law and the prophets is a demonstration of God taking us from what we think we know to a better understanding of His nature. So penal sub is not wrong it’s just not the mature picture. Jesus did not die to save us from an angry God. He died that we might get to understand the love He (God) has for us sinners. Paul said: once I thought like a child and did childish things but now I am all grown up I have put childish things away.
I imagin a couple we will call Miriam and Abi who are Jewish farmers from Bible times. Ab goes up to the temple with his lamb. The best in his flock. Miriam is pregnant or she would have gone too. The priest looks over the lamb and pronounces it ok. He slits the lambs throat and does all the business that the law stipulates. Ab goes home with the bits of the lamb he is allowed to keep. Over their meal Miriam says well there we are, covered for another year. Do we treat the cross as an eternal insurance policy?