Christ emptied Himself of the form of God for the express purpose of becoming the Sacrifice for sin. Sin involves suffering and death, hence He took a mortal form in which alone these could be endured. During His life and ministry He suffered from contact with the sins of others. But it is evident that men could not make Him to be sin without the aid and consent of God. In all their hatred He retained the smile and confidence of His Father, until He deliberately allowed Himself to be placed under the curse of the cross.

The key to the sacrifice of Christ lies in the manner of His death. Had He been stoned, according to Jewish custom, He would not have borne the sin of the world. God could not have made Him to be sin. But, because He was gibbeted, in Roman style, He came under the curse of Deity. “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” is God’s own mandate, made to fit this very case. This is what changes the whole scene from martyrdom, to a Sacrifice. It is God’s act in forsaking Him on the cross, which constitutes the basis of our salvation.

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DEATH OF THE CROSS, THE [Adolph E. Knoch]          1


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