Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. – Isaiah 53:10
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. – Isasiah 53:4-6
The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! – John 1:29
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him… – Colossians 1:21-22
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God… – 1 Peter 3:18
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. – Romans 6:5-12
I am sure we have all heard the expression, “guilty as sin.” I am also sure that most of us don’t stop to contemplate the truth of it in every case. We are all “guilty as sin,” or rather guilty of sin; both the sin of Adam we all inherited and guilty of our own particular sins. That guilt we bear is the reason Jesus died. That guilt subjects us all to the wrath of God (I know, this kind of talk is very politically incorrect, but it is Biblical). Jesus died to bear for us that wrath so we don’t have to if we trust what he did for us.
The amazing thing is that it was “the will of the Lord to crush him.” Crush him is a euphemism for the suffering Christ did in his passion, including the cross. It was God’s idea in the first place. Thousands of people have died because they were blamed for the death of Christ. That was a mistake. The death of Christ was not caused by humans, it was the will of the Lord. Yes, he used humans to effect it, but it was his will, his pleasure. Why? Because it was necessary to satisfy the wrath of God and redeem all who trust in the work of Christ.
Jesus’ death on the cross was the fulfillment of the Old Testament imagery of the lamb that was slain on the altar of sacrifice for the sins of the people.
The amazing, and mysterious, thing is that when we place our trust in what Jesus did for us, we become fully identified with him in all that he did. We are identified with him in his perfectly sinless life. We are identified with him in his death in payment for our sins. We are also identified with him in his death and have died to the reign of sin in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin because we have died with Christ.
“For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.”
“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2