I recommend reading the Catechism from “Christ’s redemptive death in God’s plan of salvation,” paragraphs 599 to 623.
What is so wrongheaded, essentially, about this theological point of view, is that they think Christ becomes the substitute for our punishment. This is why they think He needs to be alienated from His Father and to suffer the torment of hell. If Christ is substituted for our punishment, and our punishment is alienation from the Father and eternal hellfire, then that must be what Christ endured!
The problem with this is that you need what seems to be an, ‘angry God.’ John Calvin is famously derided for this view. He says in his Institutes of the Christian Religion that, “God is armed for vengeance” and that God somehow must punish someone if He is to abate His wrath and not damn us to eternal hellfire. Note how subtle this is-- man has sinned, God is wrathful, God must punish someone so that his Justice may be appeased. Calvin says, “Christ interposed, took the punishment upon himself and bore what by the just judgment of God was impending over sinners.” Calvin says that God, “has his arm raised for our destruction.”
But this is exactly what is essentially wrongheaded about the position. God does not have to hit anybody to appease His wrath. Punishment does not have to be dealt out. It is not the case that Christ must ‘interpose’ and take the hit for us. Not at all.
Why? Because Christ is not substituing Himself as a, ‘penal substitution’-- as if He is bearing the judicial punishment for our crime (which would be unjust and cruel of God to do to an innocent person!), as Calvin says, “we may infer how dire and dreadful were the tortures which he endured when he felt himself standing at the bar of God as a criminal in our stead.”
Instead Christ is substituting His life of obedience for our disobedience. Paul says that, “just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). His substitution is not of Himself for our punishment, but His substitution of His love and obedience for our disobedience.
The Catechism explains:
Jesus substitutes his obedience for our disobedience
**615 **"For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous."443 By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who “makes himself an offering for sin”, when “he bore the sin of many”, and who “shall make many to be accounted righteous”, for “he shall bear their iniquities”.444 Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father.445
Jesus consummates his sacrifice on the cross
**616 **It is love "to the end"446 that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life.447 Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died."448 No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.
What Christ has to do is not substitute Himself in our place and take our punishment, but make satisfaction to the Father for our sins. He makes satisfaction by giving a gift of infinite value-- His life of obedience poured out in love on the cross. It was because He became, “obedient even unto death, death on a cross” that He saved us.
As in Anselm’s dilemma, the case was that man had sinned, and somehow then had to make infinite reparations for this sin. (Note: man did not have to endure punishment, but to ‘pay God back’ for his sin!) But, man was unable to do so of himself. It was unfitting that God should let His creation come to nothing. Only God could pay that infinite debt. Only man could rightfully pay that debt-- one descended from Adam must necessarily repay that debt, for only a descendant of Adam would owe it. Because God loved us, He sent His only Son, who alone, as God, could repay the infinite debt we owed, and and man could rightfully repay it, and suffer in the flesh. Thus God in a supreme act reconciles both His justice and mercy-- in the Incarnation, the God-Man!