WAS JESUS MADE SIN?
BY: JONATHAN MITCHELL
SEPTEMBER 9, 2004
Christ was a Lamb without blemish.
A brother has written an article in which he states that, on the cross, Jesus became sin. His very first statement is questionable, “The method used to redeem the human race was the same as was used to corrupt it.” Now he calls this “the one man” method, and I see what he is attempting to say, but the fact is, it was one man’s obedience, as the Federal Head of the race, which countered one man’s disobedience, as the then Federal Head and representative of the race.
Then he says, “In order to undo all this, Jesus had to first be made all that we were through Adam.” This is not quite true. I think that he is referring to Heb. 2:9-18, so let’s take a look at this – hope you don’t mind my using my translation –
9. But we ARE continuously seeing Jesus, having been made inferior, a small one (or: a brief time) alongside of agents (messengers), having been encompassed (encircled; crowned) with glory (a good reputation) and honor on account of (through) the experience of death, so that by the grace of God (or: for the grace of God; in the grace of God) He might taste of death over ALL (for and on behalf of Everyone).
10. For it was fitting for Him, on account of Whom the whole (all things; all men) and through Whom [is; are] the whole (all things; all men), leading many sons into glory (a reputation), to perfect (finish; complete; mature; bring to the goal) the Prince (Beginner; Leader; Ruler) of their deliverance through experiences [: to be affected by something – either good or bad; to feel, have sense experiences; thus, also: to suffer or undergo passion].
11. For both the One separating (setting-apart) and the ones being separated (set-apart) [are] all out of One. On account of which cause (motive) He is not ashamed to be calling them brothers,
12. saying, “I will report Your Name to My brothers; in the midst (within the middle) of congregations (called-out assemblies) I will sing praise songs.”
13. And again, “I will be (will exist being) One having been persuaded upon Him,” and again, “behold, I and the infants whom God gave to Me.”
14. Since, then, the infants have shared in common of flesh and blood, He also, nearly alongside (in like manner), shared theirs in common (partook of them), in order that through means of death He might render useless (deactivate) the one having the strength (force) of death, that is, the devil (the false accuser and slanderer; the one who thrusts-through),
15. and might set them free: AS MANY as were through all of life held within slavery by fear of death!
16. For doubtless it [i.e., fear of death] is not continuously taking hold upon agents (messengers), but it is taking hold upon Abraham’s seed.
17. Wherefore, He was indebted (bound) to be assimilated (made like or similar) to the brothers according to all thing (or: concerning everything), so that He might become merciful, and a faithful Chief Priest (Leading or Beginning Priest) [in] things toward God, into the [situation] to be repeatedly and continuously overshadowing the failures (errors; misses of the target; sins) of the people with a gentle, propitiatory covering and shelter.
18. For in what He has experienced Himself, having been tried (proved), He is able to run to the aid of those who cry for help – those being tried (put to the proof).
We see in vs. 17-18 the purpose of His becoming like His brothers: to be “a faithful Chief Priest [in] things toward God, into the [situation] to be repeatedly and continuously overshadowing the failures (errors; misses of the target; sins) of the people with a gentle propitiatory covering and shelter… [and] to run to the aid of those who cry for help.”
The Kinsman-Redeemer did not have to become enslaved in order to pay the redemption price. He took on the form of a servant to make us His brothers. He became a creature so that He could be our Passover Lamb, giving His life for, and as, us. We have to figuratively eat His flesh and drink His blood (figure of the Passover meal) in order to receive His life.
This brother enters into circular reasoning with this statement, “If we are made righteous in spirit, He was made sin in spirit, because He was made sin so that we might be made righteous.” This is like saying A is the result of B because B made A. This is a meaningless statement which only clouds the issue.
Another fallacious view is that we became sin. No, we sinned (an act) and were judged, according to God’s word, and “dying we died.” Death is the result of missing of the mark, so we were “dead within sin.” But we are not said to “be sin.” The results of sinful actions are sin (a miss of the target) and landed us within sin. But we did not become sin, any more that we became death.
So, our Lord entered into death, and joined us within our state of Judgment, just as David spoke of when making his bed in sheol, God was there. But God did not have to become sheol to be there (even though sheol was created by Him).
Lastly, if we see that the central concept of “sin” is literally to miss the mark, or make a mistake, or to err, how could His sacrifice be considered a missing of the target. His sacrifice WAS righteousness (it was the Way pointed out: love; it was fairness and equity; it was establishing rightwised relationships; it was God’s justice, or making things right – all meanings of “righteousness”). It did not require becoming a mistake, an error, or a failure to hit the target. Thus, His becoming “sin” = becoming a “sin (failure) offering.”
WAS JESUS MADE SIN? [Jonathan Mitchell] 1