Three men approach Abraham; he refers to them as Lord. Some scholars say them to be angels; others say them to be the Trinity. Abraham learns of God’s intention to destroy Sodom for its wicked ways but is allowed to intercede, to ask if the town could be spared should some righteous people be found. It is agreed that the town could live vicariously through the life of a few.
And the LORD said, if I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes... And he (Abraham) said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.When God completed his count of the town, the agreed upon number of righteous people was not found. God proceeded to inflict the consequent of wrath and destruction to the town found guilty of wickedness.
- Genesis 18:26 & 32 (KJV)
Ultimately, sin brings about the consequence of God’s wrath. Sacrifices are made, codes of conduct are followed and a life of faithfulness is what had kept peace between God and his people. Building over time, a wicked and sinful world in it’s majority, the consequence of wrath was being prepared. The intent was not to destroy a few more cities, but the world. At the same time, a vicarious sacrifice was being prepared for the world to have a vicarious life. If we observe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2), and that he was the sacrifice, we can observe on that day he saved all creation from wrath and destruction.
Being as torturous as it was, it was not the crucifixion, the crown of thorns, or lashings that caused Jesus great anxiety before his sacrifice. It was a “cup” of wrath or the full consequent of a world’s worth of sin that he was to bare, which brought about sweat of blood (Luke 22:42-44). In addition to the wrath intended for the world, was the endeavor of conquering the power of death (Revelation 1:18) and the conquest of hell (Ephesians 4:8-10, Acts 2:31)
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:2 (NIV)This is the vicarious life.