Iniquity Laid on Christ — God’s Work Alone
The Prophet Isaiah clearly declares that the Lord Jesus Christ, our all-glorious Substitute and Savior, was made to bear our sins, not just the consequences of them, but our sins themselves, when he was made an offering for sin. Isaiah 53 (vv. 6, 8-12) clearly and distinctly tells us that he not only bore our sorrows and griefs, the consequences of our sins, but our sins themselves.
In this portion of Holy Scripture, our Savior is set before us as one “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He was such, not on his own account, but because he is our blessed Substitute. Our transgressions wounded him. Our iniquities bruised him. Yes, by all means, we read, — “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” But he carried more than our griefs and sorrows. He was made sin for us. In fact, in verse 10 Isaiah uses the same word used in Leviticus 5 when he says, “thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.” Literally, it means, “Thou shalt make his soul guiltiness”.
In these solemn transactions our Lord Jesus stood as the great Surety of many. As debts are transferred from the original debtor to the surety, so our sins were transferred from us to our great Surety, our sinless, spotless, holy, harmless, undefiled Redeemer, and were made to be his. He bore them and he bore them (received, accepted, took, and carried them) freely, willingly as our beloved Surety. And as the surety must pay the debt, which by transfer becomes his own, so Christ was stricken and wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and endured all the wrath of God to the full satisfaction of justice to make peace for us!
It was the Lord God himself, and no one else, who laid our iniquities on his darling Son. I cannot lay my debts on another. The debts are not owed to me. The only one who can lay my debts on another is the one to whom the debts are owed. And we cannot lay our sins on Christ. Only the holy Lord God, against whom we have sinned, to whom the debt is owed, can do that.
As none but God the Lord could lay sin upon Christ, so none but he could prepare a body for his darling Son in which to bear our sins. Our Savior said, as he was coming into the world to save his people from their sins, “a body hast thou prepared me” (Heb. 10:5). His was not merely the body of a man, but a divinely prepared body, steeled, supported and upheld by the eternal God specifically for this purpose, that he might do the will of the triune God, by which all his chosen are redeemed, sanctified, and made perfect (Heb.10:10-14).
How we ought to admire and stand in grateful awe before the boundless love of the triune God for us, who “hath laid on him the iniquity of us all!” God the Father loved us, and gave his Son to be our Sin-bearer. God the Spirit loved us, and prepared a body in which the Son could and did bear our sins. God the Son loved us, and “bear our sins in his own body on the tree.”