This is one of those short quotes that just sums everything up perfectly . . .
"The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone."
— John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1984), 160
Indeed, we are naturally self-idolaters, while God is a self-sacrificer. The humility of our God is astounding.