Sin or Sin-Offering

  

What do you think?  Did Jesus become sin on the cross?

2 Corinthians 5:21 states “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Yet there are so many verses that state Jesus was innocent and sinless (Mt, 27:4; Luke 23:47; John 8:46; 1Peter 1:19; 2:22).  How could he become sin?

Various interpretations have been put forward to understand this:  1) Christ was made a sinner, 2) Christ was made a sin-offering, and 3) Christ was made to bear the consequences of our sins. One popular teaching is because Jesus became sin, God forsook him on the cross which is why Jesus uttered, “My God, my God why have You forsaken me?” However, Psalm 22 contradicts this reasoning since this is the Scripture Jesus is quoting while he was on the cross.

A major part of the Old Covenant was the sacrificial offering that provides a type for the sacrifice of Jesus. The Greek word hamartia, translated sin in 2 Corinthians 5:21, is never translated sin-offering in the New Testament however, it is translated sin-offering in Leviticus 4:24 and 5:12 (LXX). It seems consistent with the whole Bible that Jesus was the sin-offering and not that he became sin. How could a sinless person become sin? How could innocent blood be shed on the cross if Jesus became sin?

3 Responses to “Sin or Sin-Offering”

  1. on 27 Nov 2006 at 5:16 pmJohnO

    I definitely think he become a sin-offering. Jesus, in Mark 10:45, and Matt 20:28 declares that he is a ransom for many. These easily fits within the “sin-offering” idea.

    Also in those verses, it is interesting to note the “reversal” concept that we see all over the beattitudes. Jesus can be the King over all in regards to this reversal concept because he died for all. He offered his life for all mankind through this ransom. Therefore in the reversal of the Kingdom, since he has made himself the lowest of all servants by sacrificing his life – he will be made the highest of all rules, the King. This fits squarely with his sayings that anyone who loses father, mother, house, or their own life for the sake of the Kingdom will be rewarded. That reward along the principle of “reversal” occurs in the Kingdom.

  2. on 27 Nov 2006 at 5:33 pmiRiley

    Like John said, I what I understand you to be inferring as well, I understand that Jesus was presented as a ‘sin-offering’ in order that we could have a way to seek forgiveness for the times that we do sin.

    It makes since also that, being perfect and sinless totally contradicts the idealistic view that Jesus had to ‘become’ sin in order for it to be abolished on the tree, but, in the same light, it says in Revelation that sin is to be destroyed in the end times, contradicting this idea entirely. If sin were destroyed with Jesus, then why is there still sin in the world today? It’s totally disjointed.

    In the same light, the view of ‘Christ, a sinner’ was also expressed. Under the same basic ideas of the previous, it’s impossible. Jesus was perfect, without sin. How then could he become a sinner?

    AND

    if he were to become a sinner, how would that solve anything? It would make him the same as any other person, one with sin, and so his death would be practically meaningless.

    I guess, really, I’m just trying to elaborate on the views and ideas already expressed and put in my own two cents.

    **Note that the explanations vouched here are only viable if and only if I correctly understand the alternate views correctly.

  3. on 28 Nov 2006 at 10:16 amSean

    An Irony

    The doctrine of the Trinity states that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the three persons of the Godhead and that each is fully God, yet there are not three Gods, but one. Yet, these same people say that God forsook Christ, that he turned His back on Jesus (became fully separated from him) because he had become loathsome to His Father. How bizarre (even from a human point of view) to turn your back on someone who is doing what you asked them to do, at significant cost to themself.

    But, add to that the fact that Jesus is fully God, that he is fully integrated into the Godhead, that he is consubstantial (sharing the same substance), and then we get into a true impossibility. How could someone who is fully partaking in the same nature as someone else be completely separate?

    Besides, sin is not something one becomes. Sin is a word describing a thought or action. Jesus did not commit sin, therefore he couldn’t be considered a sinner. Yet he did bear the punishment for sin.

  

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