Wednesday, January 09, 2008
SIN UPON THE SAVIOUR
“…he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many”
The scriptures teach Christ was God’s satisfaction.
They teach He was the elect sinner’s substitute.
No matter how one looks at it, that’s a mystery.
Consider the two phrases in our text. First, “he was numbered with the transgressors”.
It appears in Mark 15:28 and Luke 22:37. Numbered is translated reckoned in the Luke passage. Strong's Dictionary defines both the Hebrew word of Isaiah and the Greek word of the two Gospels as meaning to count, reckon, number, assign, etc. He further said it means to pass to one’s account, or to impute. It is the common word for impute in Paul’s writings, especially where it is so significant in Romans. Secondly, “he bare the sin of many”. A near reference to that phrase in the NT is Hebrews 9:28, "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many".
Both the Hebrew and Greek word have similar meanings: to carry or bring. Christ actively engaged Himself in bearing sin, but also, the Father acted toward Him by charging Him with the sin of His chosen seed.
Christ was numbered or reckoned to be among transgressors and bore the sin of the elect away. However, He never became a sinner. He was not in darkness and ignorance as a sinner. He was not in stubbornness and rebellion as a sinner. While bearing the sin of the first Adam, He remained the Last Adam. Neither His humanity nor deity was compromised. He willingly stepped into the place of the elect to bear their sin, guilt and condemnation.
Their sin was charged to Him; He became willingly chargeable in their behalf. That is substitution. Sin became so attached to Him and inseparable from Him that the Father turned His face away.
Sin was upon Him but not in Him. He was made sin, yet He never knew sin as a sinner; even to His last breath. Christ identified with sin but without becoming a sinner! His whole earthly life moved toward this point. God discharged the sin of the elect from their account and charged it to His account. By this act they were forgiven. Simultaneously, the Father took the righteousness Christ established and charged it to their account. By this act they were justified.
What a mystery!
I understand enough of it to fall in the dust at the feet of the Savior.
By David Simpson
Pastor of Providence Church, Knoxville, TN