Was Jesus sin or an offering for sin?

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"For he hath made him, who knew no sin, a sin offering for us..." (2Cor. 5:21)

A sin offering

'For he hath made him, who knew no sin, a sin offering for us, that we might be made the righteous people of God through him' (2Cor. 5:21, John Wesley's translation). Some other translations unfortunately, in this verse, say that God made Him 'to be sin for us'. But the same translations, in many verses, say that the word sin actually means a sacrifice for sin if 'it signifies a "sin offering"... Had our translators attended to their own method of translating the word in other places where it means the same as here, they would not have given this false view of this passage which has been made the foundation of a most blasphemous doctrine; viz., that our sins were imputed to Christ, and that He was a proper Object of the indignation of divine justice...' (Adam Clarke).

The just offered without spot for the unjust

Jesus Christ always was 'without sin' (Heb. 4:15), was 'holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners' (Heb. 7:26), was 'a lamb without blemish and without spot' (1Pet. 1:19), and 'knew no sin' (2Cor. 5:21), including when He '...offered Himself without spot to God...' (Heb. 9:14). It is not as though Christ Himself was unjust when He 'suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God...' (1Pet. 3:18).

'Christ suffered in our stead, died for us, bore our sins (the punishment due to them) in His own body upon the tree, for the Lord laid upon Him the iniquities of us all; that is, the punishment due to them; explained by making "his soul," His life, "an offering for sin," and healing us by His stripes' (Adam Clarke).

Has God hidden His face away when Christ cried to Him, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' (Ps. 22:1; Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). 'For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him...' (Ps. 22:24).

To take away our sins

'And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin' (1John 3:5).


Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.

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