How did Jesus “take our sin”? How did he remove my sin? How did He bear my sin? Where is my sin now? What is, “my sin”?
These are all questions emerging from what is called “The Atonement”. We could also add, how did/does his blood take away sin, and even, how was God’s wrath satisfied.
But let’s stick to the question as posed by the heading.
Where is my sin? That is, where is it now, what happened to it, am I still “in it”, or is it still “in me”, or has Jesus “taken it away”?? How did He deal with it.
The logical progression is surely something like this. I sinned, therefore my sin exists both in Me as a knowledge, memory, effect of it; and also as it has effected the world, me, and others in it.
This leaves me as a deficient person, guilty and hopeless. Futility is my lot in this world.
What will change this?
Jesus died to his own death, he overcame his own death, and was revived from it, because He had done what was necessary to enable life to sustain him, and to progress him into the next world. Without exploring universal consciousness and his responsibility for all mankind, He was simply the first of all creation to “make it through the process”, and probably HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER WILL of his own accord.
This means then, that his death changed nothing for us, of itself. The meaning of Him bearing the sin of the world, lay in him wearing the death penalty, death, even though he was blameless. You will remember that death was the penalty (result of) sin entering the world (“and death by sin”). But he died, even though he had not sinned. So He bore the sin of the world, in dying even though he was innocent. The Son of God, the lamb of God, had performed an action which, though nothing of itself, had prepared the way firstly, for him to be able to return as a ministering spirit to all who sought him, and secondly, (most importantly), had laid the foundation for men to recognise the love of God which was involved in this action.
Guilt in me confirms the sin in me. How is this now to change?
God himself forgives us. The cost of this forgiveness is seen in the cross. A forgiven person has had their debt removed. How, where do we see that debt removed? We see it in the body of Christ, as he suffered the effects of persecution because he was righteous. We see righteousness suffering because of the sin of others. We see God’s only son, as a representative of God himself, suffering the results of what sin does. How it damages and destroys creation. We see how God himself has also suffered along with his son. We recognise the anguish caused in this suffering, and we recognise it in us, that we have caused such suffering to others, and in so doing, we have caused it to ourselves.
Bearing the sin of the world, really means that God sorrows over his fallen creation. And He sorrowed also over his “fallen” Son, who was of our flesh, our “fallen” flesh.
He sorrowed and suffered the anguish, the result, of all the sin that mankind had done. He took that suffering within himself, as his Son also did, in this visible way of the cross.
BECAUSE LOVE SUFFERS. God forgives because he wants the suffering to stop. He wants his own grief to end, and he wants the grief of others to end, and this can only happen as men recognise that love is the only thing in existence that will do this, and that this is so because GOD IS LOVE. He is love.
MY SIN “leaves me” as I trust in His love, that it has suffered the result of my sin and death, and calls to me to leave it behind, to leave behind that which has caused ours and His suffering, and to venture forth into the reality of his love for us. We “enter into that suffering” also, as we become aware of the huge price that sin exacts on creation, on life itself. Our heart is “cleansed by faith” in his love, by faith (belief) that the action as seen on the cross was for US, on our behalf, and was the direct result of OUR actions, along with all the other sinners in the world.
WE all crucified “The Prince of Peace” WITHIN OURSELVES, and we RELEASED BARABBAS the murderer, WITHIN OURSELVES.
He has taken away the result of our bad actions by FORGIVING them, by WEARING THE PAIN OF THEM HIMSELF, as they came against his world, his creation, his nature, His LOVE.
He now calls upon us to LEAVE THIS SIN NATURE BEHIND, to move forward into HIM, His love. This is the Spirit that Jesus brings to our heart, to renew, change, and grow.
Jesus was the “First Resurrection”. We take part in HIS resurrection as we are found to be “IN HIM”: “IN” the composite understanding that He died and rose for me, IN the understanding that he suffered the pain of each Man’s death, and IN the transaction of Love’s sharing and love’s relationship. We are “In” him and He in us, because we share the same LIFE, in the understanding that he has dealt with DEATH and left it behind for us, and we are to leave it behind us and enter into HIS life. A life of LOVE.
What was the suffering on the cross? It was the suffering of the flesh which had resulted from the ABSENCE OF LOVE. And now it was the suffering of the (loveless) flesh BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE OF LOVE. Righteousness (Jesus), met with the unrighteousness of the (his and ours) fleshly “identity”, and suffering resulted which we call “wrath”.
When God “meets” with us and we are “in the flesh”, WRATH results – this is the action and reaction of God’s nature on our nature. (righteousness on unrighteousness). When this wrath is seen to be met in Jesus FOR US, we respond in gratitude, in awareness that it is US who deserve the wrath, rather than this innocent one whom we long ago killed off within ourselves, when we granted the Barabbas of our EGO to hold sway in our lives.
So it was not blood that saves, it is love that saves, and the shedding of the blood was a result of the action of His love.
But for the sake of man’s understanding, “He was presented as an atonement for sin THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD.” But we are really talking about his life that was shed or given for us, his body which became the battleground between righteousness and unrighteousness. The former His, the latter ours. [and we eat his body and drink his blood, we participate in the symbolism of absorbing what his death means to us].
Jesus’ sacrifice for sin was once for all.
For “our identity” to remain in flesh, in the “first Adam”, is to remain in death, we have not “advanced” to “stage 2” of the creative process, which is to be resurrected with Jesus, to have taken part in the first resurrection:- Paid for by Him as part of the creative process, “…in bringing many sons to glory…”. The spreading of life now becomes a collective responsibility, in which individual participants will suffer as the “author and pioneer” of their faith suffered, because the righteous will always suffer at the hands of the unrighteous.
When Jesus returns in the fire of His angels, will we be “found in Him”, or NOT “found in Him”? Will we be protected IN Him, or will we suffer wrath and destruction because we are OUTSIDE of Him??