This seems to be a good way of putting the atonement in a way that can be understood. The saying “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” gives the impact of it but without the explanation to accompany it.
“He bore our sins” by becoming one of us ‘in the flesh’ and so sharing with us all the natural defects of being human. All the faults and inner desires of “flesh” that we do, which is why He was able to be tempted. Yet tempted without sin resulting. He knew the inner temptation but resisted it completely successfully, whereas we seem to almost make an “art form” out of it. For us to fall to temptation is as “natural” as it was for Him to overcome it.
To err is human, to not err is divine.
Nonetheless, the human form was, by nature of what it had become, corrupt. Man could not escape this corruption, only God could, and the Son that He sent to achieve this very thing on our behalf. Even the Son Himself was not yet in a form by which immortality could take place. He, it says, had to be perfected through what he suffered.
He did not become the perfect sacrifice until the sacrifice itself was perfected. By hanging on a cross He was declared by scripture to be cursed, and cursed He was, for us, instead of us potentially, because all who believed were to be lifted from out of that curse of the law under which all men were condemned.
The sacrifice was not perfected until it had been perfected by His action in healing within His own body those elements which lay outside of God, outside of heaven, which He and we were at the time. Then by converting His human nature to divine nature, by His divine Spirit of righteousness, He was perfected as the perfect sacrifice and enabled to be immortalised and then resurrected.
But He was not the perfect sacrifice until after He said “It is finished”. The redemption of mankind came with the completion of the plan for that redemption having been fulfilled in and through Him. Perfected flesh of humanity then rose to heaven to be with God, with the Father. [Why would Mary bodily rise to heaven ahead of the resurrection of us all? There was no perfecting process of her humanity]. [The struggle and conflict of the conversion was shown by the “My God…”]
God’s perfect love never ever prevented us from returning to Him, except that it was to us seen as a barrier because our sin created a wall, a curtain between us and Him, which introduced incompatibility between us and Him, which seemed to us insurmountable.
It was the sin of our natural nature, which He also shared, which at the right time He entered into conflict with, entered into human nature itself and did battle with its Godless components. Anguish pain and suffering were the result, the torture of soul that he experienced was the process of redemption occurring in His own body, for us. He literally entered into what we call “hell” in order to destroy it, to destroy that given situation, that experience, so we don’t have to.
By faith in His victory, His grace allows us to claim that same victory for ourselves, since God is not interested in “an eye for an eye”, he wants all men to believe and to acquire this salvation, wrought at such a cost to Him and His Son. If we take hold of the stand that says we are free from any legal obligation (since God is not a lawyer) to sin and death, then God is well pleased by that, in fact He is extremely displeased if we don’t, because it is only by this that we can be rescued, can be “saved”, by our faith in Him.
But now not only our faith in Him, but faith in what HE HAS AREADY DONE for us in providing for us a sin and guilt free environment through what Jesus did in His own body FOR US. We are “legally” ENTITLED (“justified”) in taking hold of Jesus’ victory and calling it our own. Since HE destroyed the faulty elements within the human body, He wants us to also declare them as destroyed in us, as null and void, as that for which He died and suffered in order that we might simply claim the result in mirror image of what He achieved.
Yet never by our own efforts, it is all of Him, the death which He inflicted on those death producing elements within us stands permanently so as to render them, by faith, inert within us, we see that they have been put to death for us, and so we willingly now also assign them their rightful place which is in the body of Jesus on His cross, which now becomes ours also. [But without us having to duplicate the reality of that which He did.]
Why should we suffer the guilt, pain and shame of those sins which He rendered of no account, and not ever to be accountable. They are as nothing, as dust, as ashes, a pitiful collection of rubbish which caused him and us grief, an exercise in nonsense and death, and one to be avoided. He put the old body to death for us, it has been done, we are free and freed from it all, it is as if it never existed. We must rise to the newness of life which He has provided, recognising that the old life is dealt with and gone, unless we continue to continually resurrect it.
The work has been done, it is dead, why continue to “flog a dead horse”, death has been rendered dead for us to take advantage of, so we enter into and remain in the things of life, which begins with the removal of the things of death (by the Spirit of life). He who believes has crossed over from death to life. We have power over all that would seek to make us accountable for our sin, whether that be other people or our own damaged conscience. The conscience or heart is now “cleansed by faith”, we believe in what he has done, we believe in HIM.
Every and any thought which arises within us is now automatically scrutinised as to its origin and intent. If arising from the things of death, it is delegated to that permanent death which Jesus also already dealt it. “Taking every thought captive to Christ”.
‘And I show you a more perfect way” LOVE.
Our suffering will come as we accept within us, HIM, as we accept His sacrifice and apply it to our hearts and lives so that in accepting His overcoming of sin and death for ourselves, we are confronted with the same necessity of overcoming, both internally and externally, that He did. But the battle being won for us, we don’t duplicate it in itself, but the result will be similar in that installing this victory in ourselves will make us “fair game” for those interested in diminishing the finished work of Christ. Nevertheless, we have entered His rest.
[“If indeed we share in a death like His”][ Law can only operate where there are legal components for it to work with – Jesus removed the law of sin and death, removed us from the law of consequences and replaced it with the law of love mercy and forgiveness – GRACE]