Jul 05

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In the sinless blood of “the lamb of God” (John 1:29) man finds redemption! Thus, Jesus became a sin offering. The apostle Paul wrote some mostly misunderstood words to the Corinthians: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21). The words that are so misunderstood are these, “made him to be sin.”
To help us understand the Greek word used here, “hamartia,” let us notice the Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint. It was translated about 250 B.C. The traditional story is that it was translated for the Alexandrian Jews who did not speak Hebrew fluently, but who were fluent in Koine Greek; thus, Ptolemy II sponsored the translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Koine Greek. The word “Septuagint” refers to the seventy Jewish scholars who completed the translation. Here I quote from the pen of Peter Ditzel, who wrote: “What we find, is that in the Septuagint, the word hamartia is very commonly used to mean a “sin offering.” That is, it is used where the Hebrew Scriptures are obviously referring to a sin offering and where the English translations also have “sin offering.” In just three chapters alone that I happened to pick out (Leviticus 4, 5, and 6), hamartia is used over twenty times to refer to a sin offering. Considering this, then, what is the best and most natural translation of 2 Corinthians 5:21? Of course, it is simply this: “For the One not knowing sin, He made a sin offering for us, that we should become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Friends, Jesus did not become “sin,” this would have made his blood of no greater value than of other sinful blood. Seeing Jesus as a sin offering does not introduce us to a new idea, but is in prefect agreement with other scriptures; Paul wrote: “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour” (Eph. 5:2) and “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10). Here is a question for those who desire that Jesus be made “sin for us;” just how was this done? I am reminded of the following: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (21) But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die” (Eze. 18:20-21). There is no transferring of sin! Jesus did not sin, thus, he was the perfect sacrifice for our sins! His innocent sinless blood for our guilty sin stained blood. Peter called this blood, “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). Even Judas understood the point being made here; as he said: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matt. 27:4). There my friends we have “the story of salvation!”
Finally, there is another question that must be addressed just here. What about the words Jesus uttered on the cross? “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt. 27:46). What about the word “forsaken,” as it relates to God looking upon Jesus? It is so often thought that it means, God turned his back upon Jesus and could not look upon him, as he had become sin. However, a little study of the Greek word used will help. It is “egkataleipō” and Thayer gives the following: “1) abandon, desert 1a) leave in straits, leave helpless 1b) totally abandoned, utterly forsaken.” The meaning here is simply that God did not come and remove Jesus from the cross, but left him in the straits of death; Jesus had to suffer the death on the cross for us. Yes, God could have removed Jesus from the cross; Jesus could have “called ten thousand angels, but he died for you and me.” Remember just here, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). Why? Because there is “the story of salvation,” there is our redemption! Thank God for the innocent blood of Jesus shed upon the cross!
There is the “precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Yes verily, in the blood of seed of woman is this “the precious blood” of our redemption, of our salvation!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/the-story-of-salvation-8/