What Does It Mean That Jesus Was Made To Be Sin For Us?

Jesus was made to be sin for us

Although it’s quite clear that Jesus was not a sinner, and therefore did not deserve to be alienated from the Father, either spiritually, physically, or eternally, the Scriptures make it clear that He was made to be sin “for us” or “in our behalf” (2 Cor. 5:21). What this means is that the Father treated as “sin” the “Him [Jesus] who knew no sin…, that we [sinners] might become the righteousness of God in Him.” It bears noting that the sin of this passage is not “sins” (plural), but “sin” (singular). The sin under discussion here is, undoubtedly, the aggregate sin of a lost and dying world: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin [singular] of the world!” (Jn. 1:29). However, 2 Corinthians 5:21 is not teaching the Father made Jesus to be a “sin offering” on our behalf, as many non-vicarious-death brethren believe. Instead, it teaches the Father made His only begotten Son to be the “sin-bearer” of the collective or aggregate sin of all mankind, past, present, and future. Now although it is certainly true there were a number of things Jesus did for us in connection with His cross-work, and one of these was being a sacrifice or offering for our sin (Eph. 5:2; Heb. 7:27; 9:26; 10:12), it is simply beyond me how anyone could deny the vicarious nature of Jesus’ “sin-bearing” work for us.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s not forget 1 Peter 2:24, which says, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed,” or Galatians 3:13, which says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE’).”

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