Evidently here is the notion of a substitutionary offering, although the reason given is not the true reason.
It was substitutionary; the victim stood in place of the offerer.
I could not be disrated, as I was only a cabin-boy, but a substitutionary penalty was invoked against me.
early 15c. in transitive sense, 1888 as intransitive, from Latin substitutus, past participle of substituere (see substitution). Related: Substituted; substituting.
"one who acts in place of another," early 15c., from Old French substitute and directly from Latin substitutus, past participle of substituere (see substitution). Team sports sense is from 1849.