Both the enemies of Christ such as the Pharisees and some who would be His friends have referred to Christ as a “sinner,” even the “greatest sinner.” We know that the scriptures teach that Christ as our Surety assumed the full responsibility of the sins of His people before the world began. Isaiah says, “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:6). But all that had to come upon Him at the hand of divine justice was because of this imputation. He was not responsible for our sins because of anything He did or was guilty of, all accountability for our sins was because God had imputed our sins to Him. As the Surety, justice held Him accountable. But He could only die for our sins if He was Himself sinless. Sins cannot be imputed to a sinner, who already had sinned. For this reason, rather than ever calling Christ a sinner, the Holy Scriptures proclaim the opposite! God the Spirit describes our Savior as He “who knew no sin.” The angel says to Mary in Luke 1:35, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” The apostle in Hebrew 7:26, reminds us, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” Then Peter, led by the Spirit writes in 1Pe 2:22-24, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 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.” John the beloved joins in the same theme, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” (1Jo 3:5) Rather than being the “greatest sinner,” Christ the sinless One was the greatest Sin-bearer! He was the greatest Substitute for sinners! How could He bear our sins? How could He die for sinners? Because He had no sin, knew no sin and was not a sinner! As Peter tells us, it was as the One “who did not sin” that He commited Himself to “him that judgeth righteously.” How could the righteous Judge condemn and slay one who knew no sin? Because He stood before divine justice as the One responsible for the sins of others, responsible because of imputation. Because the Lord had laid on the sinless, immutable Savior the sins of His people! For myself, I must stay with what the scriptures say of Him, what they emphasize about Him and stay clear of all speculation and human logic. What happened when the priest laid his hands of the innocent sacrifice in a symbolic imputation? The sacrifice was slain and died. Thus He who knew no sin was made sin for us!
--- Gary Shepard
THE NECESSITY OF CHRIST’S DEATH
The perfect, sinless life of Christ was necessary to show His worthiness to be the sacrifice for sin. The broken law of God demanded a spotless offering to satisfy its justice and put away the sins of God’s elect. "It shall be perfect to be accepted" (Leviticus 22:21). We praise the Lord for the blameless life of Christ, but His life of exact obedience to the Father did not answer the demands of a broken law, otherwise there had been no need for Him to die. His life lived in complete and perfect submission to the Father served to prove that He was qualified to die in the stead of His sinful people. The law declared, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). In order for offended justice to be satisfied, the sins of the Lord’s people to be put away and everlasting righteousness to be brought in, Christ Jesus the Lord had to lay down His life for His people. None but Christ could save sinners, but even He could not save apart from dying in the room, place and stead of His people.
--- Jim Byrd
I am not what I ought to be, ah, how imperfect and deficient. I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be soon; soon I shall put off, with mortality, all sin and imperfection. Though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say that I am not what I once was, a slave to sin and Satan. And I can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge, “by the grace of God I am what I am.”
--- John Newton
My friends, do you love to hear Christ lifted up and exalted as your all and in all? If you do, you are willing to be made less than nothing and vanity in yourselves. Professors of religion, generally, do not like to be thus humbled. They love to have something to do, in whole or in part, to recommend themselves to God. But the Lord’s salvation is not a mixture of grace and works. It is of free and sovereign grace, and received by faith alone, which is the gift of God. It is “not of works, lest any man should boast.” The Lord alone be exalted as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last in the salvation of His people.