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Christ made Sin
“For 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.”
Our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, suffered heart failure, not because of the physical pain of crucifixion inflicted upon him by his tormenters, but because he who is the holy Lamb of God was made sin for us. He cried, “See, O Lord, and consider, for I am become vile! Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me! Therefore, my heart faileth me.”
John Trapp, commenting on Psalm 40:12, wrote that our Lord Jesus Christ was “maximus peccatorum, the greatest of sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:6), for our sins (which here he calleth his) he suffered. And here his bitter agony in the Garden is graphically described. Neither is it absurd to say, that as he bore our sins in his own body upon the tree, he was first redeemed by himself, and afterwards we.”
Martin Luther said essentially the same thing. — “Christ took our flesh upon him, that he might take our sins upon him. He was, maximus peccator, the greatest sinner, having the weight of the sins of [God’s elect throughout] the whole world lying upon him. He took our flesh that he might take our sins, and so appease God’s wrath.”
So obvious and blessed is this revelation of the gospel that saved sinners throughout the world and throughout the ages rejoice to know it, rest in it, and proclaim it. None can understand it or explain it; but all give thanks for it.
“Yes,” Charles Spurgeon wrote, “we believe and hold it fast, that Christ did take the sins of his people verily and truly upon himself, and did in proper person make a complete expiation for the guilt of all his chosen, and in this we find our hearts’ best confidence.
Our soul can on this doctrine live,
Can on this doctrine die.”
If there is anything in the Book of God with which we should desire to be acquainted, it is this upon which our salvation and everlasting consolation depend . — “He hath made him sin for us!” If we would know Christ and the fellowship of his sufferings, if we would look on him whom we have pierced and mourn, if we would die unto sin and bring forth fruit unto God, we must have the gift of God the Holy Ghost to reveal to us this great mystery, that God the Father has laid on Christ the iniquity of us all, that “He hath made him sin for us!”
Why did the holy Redeemer go mourning to the grave? Why did divine justice pursue him? Only because he bare the sin of many. From this fountain the streams of free salvation flow. We die unto sin, we live unto righteousness, only because he, his own self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree. O wondrous grace! O magnificent justice! O mysterious transfer! O amazing mystery!