Human Governments are embarrassed for want of an Atonement.
In all of human history when ever pardon is shown to the guilty the law and the good it seeks to preserve is lessened. There is no adequate answer for that demonstration.
Punishing another for the crime committed by an individual is conceptually misguided. It violates our intuitive sense of justice. The guilty shall bear their punishment because they thought to abuse and steal from the public good by their selfishness. To punish another has no effect on the public at large to deter sin. Rather it would engender disrespect and ill will towards the government. Punishing the innocent for the guilty is the meanest kind of barbarism.
The government derives no pleasure at the punishment of the innocent, nor the guilty unless it be because some regard is shown towards the greater good by restraining the offender.
In the Kingdom of God, we must have the same regard for Him if He punishes the innocent in place of the guilty. We could not love or respect Him for instituting an arbitrary and ill suited deprivation of the good of the innocent for the guilty.
Vicarious, substituted suffering is not punishment, nor can it be.
The idea of inserting sufferer’s underneath the consequence of the literal punishment of the law is not God’s righteousness. At least that’s what Paul says in this passage:
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Rom 3:21-26 )
Most do not get “without law” in verse 21.
Exegetically one has to account for the word “punished” in association with Christ’s sufferings because of this passage:
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa 53:5-6 KJV)
The Jew’s did not have the “legal” mindset of Augustine or Luther in that regard. For if “bearing the iniquity of another” meant being punished in their place the exact equivalent of their crime, then this passage makes no sense:
“Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” (Eze 4:4-6 KJV)
Yet the traditional view of Christ being exactly punished for the sins of the world has nearly eclipsed the plain testimony of Scripture.
As a result, not even 1 in a thousand can explain “sin bearing” as propitiation for the sins of the world. How what Jesus did, upholds the law, deters sin, reforms the heart of the offender, and guarantees the future good behavior all those who come to God by Him.
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1Jo 2:2 KJV)
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1Jo 4:10-11 KJV)
“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” (Luk 24:46-48 KJV)
Part of the Atonement consisted in teaching the Sin lesson, by allowing Jesus to be given over into the hands of the Chief Priests and then the Gentiles for a time.
They demonstrated what selfishness will do to keep the light out from convicting the conscience. Jesus is the Light of the World.
But that was not “sin bearing”.
Paul knew a little of what Christ carried through out his ministry.
“I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (Rom 9:2-3 KJV)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Mat 23:37-39 KJV)
We are told how Jesus was bearing our sins in His ministry:
“And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
–>That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Mat 8:14-17 KJV)
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (Joh 1:29 KJV)
“taketh away”= bearing: αἴρων verb participle *present active* nominative masculine singular from αἴρω
[GING] αἴρω αἴρω—1. raise, lift, take up, pick up Mt 16:24; Lk 17:13; J 8:59; keep in suspense J 10:24; weigh (anchors) Ac 27:13; take or carry along Mt 16:24; 27:32; w. φωνή cry out loudly Lk 17:13. The transition to mng. 2 may be seen in J 1:29, where αἴ. means both take up and remove.—2. take or carry away, remove
John was declaring that Jesus was picking up and bearing away the sins of the world. Present tense.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Pe 2:24 KJV)
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb 9:14 KJV)
These last two passages provide us with the Scriptural description of how sin bearing was brought to a climax.
In 1 Peter 2:24 we have “bore … up to the tree”
αὐτὸς ἀνήνεγκεν ἐν τῷ σώματι αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ ξύλον,
And in Hebrews 9:14 were are told that the Spirit of God was quickening into intercessory identification and burden for the sins of the world such that His body failed under His continued voluntary choosing to “bear the burden and continual sorrow” i.e., the sin’s of the world.
He laid down His life in intercessory burden unto death. It was His will to bear that burden till His body could not endure any longer.
It seems clear that He felt this rupture of the heart as he cried out in a loud voice “It is finished” and ‘Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”
This is a different paradigm than the punitive version of traditional theology, but I believe I have showed each aspect of Scriptural fulfillment and description of what kind of “sin bearing” Jesus was carrying and the supernatural means by which He was given to see things from the Fathers perspective, as it were.”
Salvation is not the acceptance of a creedal statement, but rather a confrontation with the reality of Christ’s suffering unto death for our sins. And in as much as “no man can say Jesus is Lord” but by the Spirit, it is the same to say that:
“…before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Gal 3:1 KJV)
It is the “eyes of the heart” that Christ is “set forth” to those whom the Father has taught and have learned who are given to this revelation of Jesus – and they WILL come to Him.
And really, the following passage teaches us more about Christ suffering by revelation and experience ( though ours has none of the purpose or degree of Christ’s sufferings) and should find a resonance of common knowing in those who do have the Spirit.
“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 (Rom 8:1 KJV)
Intercession, is the continual language of the Godhead among Themselves:
“Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25 NAS)
“…because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isa 53:12 KJV)