Vol. 3, No. 12
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The English text is in the King James Version. The Greek and English part shows that the order of words in sentences in the Greek New Testament is generally not the same as the arrangement of words in English sentences. In this sense, any English translation of the New Testament is a paraphrase.
The Greek word for sin both times in the text is "hamartian." Because of what many New Testament texts plainly teach, we know that Jesus did not sin. It is evident that he did not become a sinner when he was offered for our sins on Calvary.
What Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 is said in another way by Peter, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…" (1 Peter 2:24a). "Bare" of this text is the translation of Greek "anenegken" defined as "carry up; bear up…"
After Jesus had cast out devils and healed sick people, Matthew wrote, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17). "Bare" of this text is from Greek "ebastasen" defined "to bear; carry; to take away, remove…" This all means that when Jesus "bare" the sicknesses of people, he did not get sick, but it means he took their sicknesses away or removed them. Even so, when Jesus bare our sins, he did not become a sinner, but in offering himself for our sins he provided the means through which our sins can be removed when we do what he tells us to do to reach the benefits of his offering himself for our sins. Obviously, this is the only sense in which God the Father made Jesus to be sin for us!
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28). This verse does not mean that the first time Jesus came he was not "without sin." The first time he came, he had to deal with sin; he was once offered to bear our sins. When he comes again, he will not deal with our sins, he will not offer himself again for our sins, but he shall appear and have not anything to do with sin. He will not come to do anything about our being saved. Instead, he will come to be our judge!
I read a story about a woman in a wagon who was screaming for help as the mules pulling the wagon were running very fast and about to go down a hill. A man ran out and caused the mules to go into a side ditch and stopped them, and probably saved the woman's life. Two years later, that woman was on trial for murder. The judge sentenced her to die. She recognized him as the man who saved her life, and shouted, "Judge, you can't do this; two years ago you saved my life, and now you are saying I must die!" He said, "Lady, two years ago I was your saviour, now I am your judge!"