The Imputation Of Sin To Christ
Our iniquity really became the iniquity of our Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. Though he knew no sin, our Savior was made to be sin for us by Divine imputation. And this imputation of sin is so real that our Substitute claimed our sins as his own. He said, "Innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me...O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee" (Psa. 40:12; 69:5). There was no evil in him, no evil committed by him of any kind, and no possibility of evil in him. Both as God and as Man, our Savior was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners" (Heb. ). Yet, "the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." God gathered up all the sins of all his elect, as one loathsome, hideous bundle, and laid them upon Christ. By a mighty transfer of guilt, he transferred our sins entirely from us to our Savior, and punished him in our stead. The Lord Jesus Christ died as the greatest sinner who ever lived, for at one time all the sins of all God's elect were made to meet upon him.
When a man willingly makes himself a surety for another man's debts, he assumes all obligations, responsibilities and liabilities for the original debtor. In the eyes of the law, the original debtor is freed of all obligation and accountability, and the surety has become the debtor. The law looks not to the original debtor, but to the surety, to whom the debt has been imputed, for satisfaction. Christ gave his bond as our Surety in the covenant of grace. And God, having accepted him as our Surety, laid our sins upon his Son. He cannot look for payment from us. If he will have payment for sin, he must have it from him upon whom our debt has been laid.
Justice will not allow that the debt be paid both by us and by our Surety. If Christ, our Surety, has paid our debt to God, we must go free!