The corruption of the flesh is the same as saying the corruption of the person. By one man sin entered the world and death by sin. Sin was the corruption of that creation of God that was man.
This corruption now in the world was in the form of man and how he acted from that corruption. When Jesus came as one of us he had the exact same type of corrupt body that we have, with the exception of the extra individual corruption that was added by men’s sins. This corruption meant that this body would die. He came to deal with this corruption so that it no longer could cause death.
Jesus as Son of God was able to repel the efforts of the internal corruption while he lived. When he went to the cross though, he was entering into the real purpose for which he came. He encountered and battled within him that which was not of God. He was able to do this because he had the authority of righteousness, never having fallen to corruption, though it enticed him to do so. He suffered the anguish of separation from his Father and the “agony of death” involved in essentially that condition we call hell, in his conflict.
After this he said “it is finished”, and died. He had restored his body to the original incorrupt design and so entered into immortality and resurrection.
Death for him was over, release from death for us would take longer. He said he had abolished death, it had lost its authority and had been banished. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death”. At resurrection, man who has taken part in the first resurrection will be immortalised also. We have already been released from death in his reality, but we must respond to this release by believing in it’s truth, which means believing in God’s integrity and his love for us. Only as we recognise his love will we be enabled to move into the reality of what he has done for us.
What is the amazing thing God has done for us and so many people find it so hard to believe? It is that he has done away with death and the consequences of sin. The perceived difficulty is overcome by realising that people are dead (spiritually as well as physically) and that it is the INEVITABILITY of death that has been removed. He has not personally removed their indwelling sin that is the cause of their immediate spiritual death and will be the cause of their physical death. He has PROVIDED the means of escape from their death and invites them to leave it, freely, of their own accord.
The reality is they are dead because they are in the death of their sins which Jesus has now dealt with by passing through the process of repairing the human form and rising to a position from which he can freely give life to all who want it. He has removed their death for them, so they can extricate themselves from its effects on them. So he has “borne their sins”, that corruption that collectively is man, in his own body destroying it and becoming the one who by drawing man under the umbrella of his grace, is able to dispense to them the life giving Spirit that he is.
To use simple terminology, men’s sins have been “paid for” so they no longer have to squirm under the sentence of death. But they have to realise that they HAVE been “paid for”, and that means they have to BELIEVE it. And it is this belief in the truth, that saves them (from themselves) by dispelling, removing, the lie to the contrary. Men must voluntarily leave their old deathly life of sin and cleave to the new life of the Spirit.
This is what sorts the sheep from the goats as those who WANT to believe it will do so, and those who DON’T want to believe it, will not do so. By not believing “it” they are refusing to believe in God’s love, forgiveness, justice, righteousness and authority. They are discarding the Son of God’s painful and hard won victory through his sacrifice. They may very well believe in some lesser version of the gospel, in which there are “conditions” and “laws”, but which will not make available to them the fullness of the liberty in Christ.