Im not a fan of printing a long post but this is part of "Why Did Christ Die" by A.P. Adams
Now a single thought in closing, in all these answers to the question, Why did Christ die? there is not a particle of substitution, not the least hint at a so-called "Vicarious" atonement. I know of course how some try to make out substitution from some of these texts we have examined. But this is done either by ignorance or thoughtlessness or prejudice; no deliberate impartial examiner of these scriptures can find any substitution in them at all; and yet men insist on this God-dishonoring dogma as though it was one of the main pillars of the eternal throne. Perhaps some will think of the passages, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (I Pet. 2:24), and He "suffered for sins the just for the unjust," (I Pet. 3:18) etc.; these passages seem to some to teach substitution, but this is only because they have been accustomed to so regard them; for instance, here is a paragraph from the writings of one who believes in substitution.
"Christ was our substitute in death; he died the just FOR the unjust. He tasted death FOR every man. This dying for the guilty was substitution."
In this paragraph the brother emphasizes the for as though of itself it taught substitution. But does it? Is it not possible for one person to do something for another except as the others substitute? O how blind and careless these self-constituted leaders are! The physician prescribes a remedy for his patient, but not instead of him. Christ "died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15: 3), but not instead of them. He died "the just for the unjust," but it does not necessarily follow from this statement, as many think, that he died instead of the unjust. "He bore our sins," but in what capacity? as an associate, or as a substitute? So far as the simple statement is concerned it might be either, but from other scripture, as we have seen, we know that Christ was NOT our substitute, but our companion and Elder Brother, the Sharer of our woes. I say we know this from scripture, we also know it from fact. Let the reader carefully consider this question: In what death was Christ our substitute? We have seen that there are several kinds of death, physical death, spiritual death and the second death; now a substitute is one who does something for another which the other does not do; for example, in the time of war if a man was drafted he sometimes hired some other man to go to war in his stead and this man was called a substitute; the substitute went to war while the drafted man did not go. Now then, if Christ died as our substitute he must have died some death that we do not die. What death was it? Man is already dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1); he must die physically, (Heb. 9:27) and of course Christ did not die the second death. Even if there were "a death that never dies," as the churches say, Christ died no such death as our substitute or otherwise. In what death then was Christ our substitute? "He tasted death for every man" (Heb. 2:9), but it could not have been as a substitute for every man, for the simple reason that man must himself die; we can very readily see how Christ died for man as his associate, "made in all points like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest" (Heb. 2:17), we can readily see how he was the first to pass through the whole process of God's way of life through death, as our Forerunner, and the Captain of our salvation, in order to deliver man, not from a death to which they were exposed, but out of a death in which they were already involved.
But it would be impossible to explain, either on a scriptural basis or on the ground of fact and reason, how Christ died as man's substitute; and especially those who believe that the atoning death of Christ was his physical death on the literal cross would find it exceedingly difficult to prove that that death was substitutional, for surely man himself must die physically. "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19), is a penalty that every man must himself bear, with the exception that Paul refers to in I Cor. 15: 51. The idea then of the substitutional or vicarious character of the atonement is simply and purely a human "tradition," "making the Word of God of none effect" (Mark 7:13).
As this subject is very important, I will add another illustration of the shallow, careless way in which men reason in order to prop up this falsehood of substitution. In order to defend this doctrine from the charge of injustice, the injustice of the innocent suffering, instead of the guilty, it is alleged that this is no more unjust than the vicarious suffering that is allowed in the world all the time; "Do not the innocent suffer for the guilty here in this life," it is asked, "Is there not vicarious suffering all around us, the mother suffers for the child, the child suffers for the parent, the wife suffers for the husband, the community suffers for the criminal, etc. Surely if God permits this continual vicarious suffering in the world, should we find fault, and brand it as unjust, because Christ suffers vicariously?" Now is it not a marvel that intelligent, thoughtful men, ministers, editors of religious periodicals, evangelists, etc., that such men as these should reason in this way and not perceive its utter fallacy? It is true that there is a great deal of suffering in this world on the part of the innocent for the guilty, this of course is a certain and a sad fact; but is this suffering vicarious? This last words means "to do or suffer in the place of another." Do the innocent suffer in the place of the guilty in this world? i.e., instead of the guilty, so that the guilty escape the punishment that the innocent suffer in their stead? Will the drunken husband have less punishment because his wife has suffered a part of his punishment in his place? This would be the case if the wife suffered for him vicariously, i.e., as his substitute; but of course no one has any such idea. The fact is there is no vicarious suffering in the world, not a particle; the innocent suffer for the guilty, i.e., on their account, but they do not suffer in their place, or instead of them. No one suffers a single pang that another ought to suffer in that other one's stead; and no one will escape a single pang because someone else has suffered it in his place. "Every man shall bear his own burden (Gal. 6: 5); "Every man shall receive according to his deeds" (Rom. 2: 6); "Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward" (Heb. 2: 2).
Thus on every hand, however we may look at it from the standpoint of reason, fact or Scripture, it is seen that the doctrine of substitution is false; let it go with that other lie of endless torments, seeing that it is equally dishonoring to God. We can readily find from Scripture the real reasons for the death of Christ, reasons that commend themselves to an enlightened judgment and that magnify the wisdom and love of God. And now I will add another scriptural answer to the question, why did Christ die? which has just occurred to me since I sent the first part of this article to my printer; "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him [in bringing many sons unto glory], endured the cross [death], despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12: 2). Let the reader ponder this reason for himself.