This illustrates why Christ’s identity is so important. He is not some unwilling bystander who God forced onto the scene as a whipping boy to take our punishment. He is actually the God we have sinned against, who says to us, "I love you, I’m willing to forgive you, and I’ll pay the death penalty that you owe.
Nicky Gumbel tells this story in the Alpha Course of two men who grew up as best of friends, except that their lives took divergent paths. One became a judge, and the other a criminal. At one point the criminal ends up in the Judge’s court. He is obviously guilty, but he the judge’s friend. If the judge let him off, he would not be full filling his role of dispensing justice. So what he does is he sentences his friend to the appropriate fine for his crime, he then steps down from the bench, takes off his robe and writes his friend a check for the amount of the fine in full.
This is what God does in Jesus. He sentences us to death for our sins, but then pays for our sins in full with his death. Christ offers his forgiveness as a gift. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” It is literally a gift waiting to be opened. Your Brother in Christ, Mike Simpson, Locum Vicar.