Behold, the Lamb of God

We know Christ died for us, but do we know exactly what transpired on the cross?

In the Bible, Jesus Christ is given many titles and names, all of which aid in our understanding of who He is. He’s called Savior, Lord, Word, Light, Son of God, Son of Man, and much more. One description we may not use very often is Sin Bearer, yet this title describes exactly what He did on the cross. It’s the reason we regularly observe the Lord’s Supper in our churches.

There were no chairs in the temple, because the priests’ work was never done. However, the writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ our Sin Bearer, “having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:11-12).

Consider the prophecy of Christ’s sacrifice in Isaiah 53:4-6:

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

Long before Jesus came to earth, His role as the Sin Bearer was symbolized in the sacrificial system of worship God established for the Jews in Leviticus 16:21-22. Then hundreds of years later, John the Baptist came on the scene, paving the way for the Messiah and announcing, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

In Isaiah 53:6, the prophet states that God allowed our wickedness and the penalty for our sins to “fall” on Christ. The word comes from the Hebrew term hipgîà, a derivation of paga, which means “to meet, encounter, or reach.”

Let’s read the following passages to better understand what Jesus accomplished through His death on the cross in His role as Sin Bearer.

  • John 10:17-18—His death was voluntary. From a human perspective, it may have seemed that Jesus was a victim of crucifixion, but no one could take the life of the omnipotent Son of God; He Himself laid it down.

  • Romans 3:23-26—His death was a “satisfaction.” How could God show mercy to sinners if His justice required that sin be punished? The only way was to pour out His wrath on His Son, whose death would fully pay mankind’s penalty for sin and propitiate (satisfy) God’s justice. Then He could be both just and the justifier of those who come to Him through Jesus.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21—His death was a substitution. Jesus was judged for our sins, all of which He bore in His body (1 Peter 2:24), and His record of righteousness was credited to our account.

  • In Judaism, a sacrifice was known as a korban, and an animal sacrifice specifically was referred to as a zevah. The animals most commonly sacrificed were bulls, sheep, goats, deer, and doves.

  • 1 Timothy 2:5-6—His death was necessary. Without His ransom, there would be no mediator between holy God and sinful man; all humanity would come under divine wrath.

  • 1 John 2:2—His death was sufficient. His sacrifice wasn’t just partially effective; it was completely sufficient for all our sins. Nothing else is required, because Christ paid sin’s penalty in full on the cross.

  • Hebrews 9:24-26—His death was final. The Old Testament priests had to enter the holy place year after year to offer the blood of sacrifice, but Jesus’ blood covered all sins for all time. That’s why He cried from the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

The scope of all that Christ accomplished is staggering, but there is only one way to personally receive the benefits He has provided as the Sin Bearer: Come to Him in faith, calling out for salvation.

 

Questions

  • What does Christ’s role as Sin Bearer reveal about the great chasm between holy God and sinful humanity? Have you personally come to Jesus as your Mediator?

  • How does Christ’s willingness to bear sin inspire you to love Him more? What does it say about your eternal security in Him?

 
Related Topics:  Gods Love

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4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

21 Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness.

22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.

18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;

12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,

6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.

26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

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