The Transaction at the Cross

(This text is taken from an excellent Bible study by R. Nelson Colyar, Leviticus, The Book of Holiness. Second printing, July, 1945. pp. 15-16.)

Christ Jesus gave Himself as an offering and a sacrifice unto God for men.

As for men, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isa. 53:6). “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:10-11). By nature, all men are the children of wrath, Eph. 2:3. How ignorantly sinful men are, Jer. 17:9

As for Christ Jesus. He is the sinless One. When He offered Himself to God as a sacrifice for sin, God accepted Him as a substitute for the sinner in death. This could be done only as the sins of nature were adequately and finally dealt with in full satisfaction of God’s righteousness. 

I. Christ Jesus as our Sin Offering expiated sin, i.e., He made complete satisfaction for sin. 

a. It was on the cross of Calvary that He bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24). 

b. It was on the cross of Calvary that God “sinned” the sacrifice (2 Corinthians 5:21), that is, 

  1. God made Christ to be sin itself. 
  1. God did not make Him a sinner, for Christ “knew no sin.” He was not a sinner in any sense of the word. 
  1. God made Christ Jesus to be sin “for us,” on the behalf of sinners. The sins of human nature were laid on Christ.

c. God put sin on Christ that he might deal with it in righteousness. 

  1. He laid the penalty of — ”the soul that sinneth, it shall die” — on Christ to the utmost degree. “He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32). cf. Isa. 53:5, 10; Psa. 88:7, 16; Psa. 39:10. 
  1. God “sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin (concerning sin), condemned (gave judgment against; put in a guilty light) sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8: 3). 
  1. Having made Christ Jesus to be sin, God next treated Him on the cross as if He were the greatest of all sinners in letting His holy wrath fall upon Him. He must suffer it if He would save us. 
  1. Christ, bore it, with none to help. He was defenseless, having taken the sinner’s place. cf. Psa. 22:1; John 10:11; Mt. 27:46. 

d. It was on the cross of Calvary that the Just One suffered for the unjust, 1 Pet. 3:18. 

e. On Calvary, God set Christ Jesus forth as a satisfaction for sin. cf. Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2. 

f. In so doing, God declared His righteousness to all the universe, i.e., that inasmuch as Christ Jesus had made satisfaction for sin, He (God) is just (righteous) in justifying (counting guiltless) a guilty sinner who believes in Jesus. cf. Rom. 3:26. 

II. The result of this transaction is this: 

a. Complete justification from sin is offered to all men through faith in Christ Jesus. cf. Rom. 3:25; 5:1. The priest sprinkled the blood seven times before the Lord (Lev. 4:6). Seven is the Bible number signifying spiritual perfection and dispensational fullness. It symbolizes the perfect work of Jesus when He was made a sacrifice for sin. It was and is a finished work. cf. Heb. 9:23-26; 10:10-14; 10:26-29. Ponder these scriptures well. 

b. By virtue of this work, God forgives the sins of the sinner according to the riches of His grace, Eph. 1:7; Heb. 10:17. 

c. He pardons the iniquities of them that believe on Christ, Isa. 55:7; Tit. 2:14. 

d. He imputes to the believer the righteousness of Christ, Romans 4:5, 22-25; Gen. 15:6. 

e. He judged sin in the flesh (of Christ) in order that “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us (who are in Christ Jesus), Rom. 8: 3-4. 

III. As the worshipper in Leviticus must lay his hand upon the head of his sin-offering and kill it before the Lord [Leviticus 4:3-4], so must we approach a holy God only in the Person of an acceptable Sin Offering, Jesus Christ the Righteous, by believing on Him, as it is written: “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power (exousia, authority, the right) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name,” John 1:12. cf. John 3:14-16, 18, 36. 

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 

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