In order to redeem us into who we are, the Lord Jesus Christ became on the cross of Calvary who He is not.
“He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21).
The Bible never explains the meaning of the Lord Jesus being “made… to be sin.” It rather simply tells us the holy result – “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Thus, we are left to only imagine what it must have been like for a pristinely perfect Heart to enter into the darkness of sin in the terms described by the Apostle Paul. Again, “He hath made Him to be sin…”
The Lord Jesus “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24). This speaks to the physical torment of all that He suffered in the crucifixion. Being “made… to be sin,” however, must reference the spiritual torment known by our blessed Lord. This presents to us perhaps the greatest of mysteries regarding the cost of our redemption. Regarding its holy effect, however, the Bible is clear. Born again believers are not who we once were in the most elemental part of our being. Furthermore, in terms of our present consideration, the price that made possible such change within us is far greater than we will ever know. Indeed, to the degree that the Lord Jesus became who He is not in order to die for our sins – and to die as sin – we are now “new creatures… created in righteousness and true holiness” (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24).
Failure to accept this truth about ourselves involves the inadvertent neglect to appreciate our Savior’s sorrows and suffering on the cross. Such neglect is not humility. It is rather unbelief concerning plainly stated Biblical truth. This “high view” of ourselves originates in the view held by God, who sees us to the innermost core of our being. Therein, He beholds a spiritual temple wherein dwells the Spirit of His Son united to the enlivened spirit of ourselves. “God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father” (Galatians 4:6). It was this same Son who cried out in lonely forsakenness on the cross of Calvary in order to make the presence of God our eternal portion. May God grant much grace, enabling us to know and remember always the terrible cost that forevermore – and in this moment – changed who and what we are.
“Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”