Posted On April 6, 2018

Sin Didn’t Kill Jesus—God Did

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Featured, The Gospel and the Christian Life

A Shocking Truth

The reality of Christ’s vicarious, substitutionary death on our behalf is the heart of the gospel according to God—the central theme of Isaiah 53.

We must remember, however, that sin did not kill Jesus; God did. The suffering servant’s death was nothing less than a punishment administered by God for sins others had committed. That is what we mean when we speak of penal substitutionary atonement. Again, if the idea seems shocking and disturbing, it is meant to be. Unless you recoil from the thought, you probably haven’t grasped it yet. “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). This is one of the major reasons the gospel is a stumbling block to Jews, and it’s sheer foolishness as far as Gentiles are concerned (1 Cor. 1:23). “But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, [the message of Christ crucified embodies both] the power of God and the wisdom of God” (v. 24).

He fully satisfied justice and put away our sin forever through the death of his Son.

There’s no way to sidestep the fact that the doctrine of penal substitution is unequivocally affirmed in the plain message of Isaiah 53. It is also confirmed and reiterated by many other passages throughout Scripture (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:28; 1 Pet. 2:24). The servant of Yahweh, though perfectly innocent, bore the guilt of others and suffered unspeakable anguish to atone for their sins.

The Necessity of Christ’s Death

Despite the unsettling overtones in that message, it is good news. In fact, there is no more glorious good news. It explains why God “does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:10). He has not compromised his own righteousness. He does not merely overlook our transgressions. Rather, he fully satisfied justice and put away our sin forever through the death of his Son. “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12). Now grace can truly reign through righteousness (Rom. 5:21). And God can be both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).

Israel’s national salvation is still in the future. But no one (neither Jew nor Gentile) need wait for some future event in order to turn from sin and trust Christ. You can be saved “today, if you hear his voice” (Heb. 3:7). The righteousness of God is available even now “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Rom. 3:22). And “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13).

“Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

This is a guest article by John MacArthur, author of The Gospel According to God: Rediscovering the Most Remarkable Chapter in the Old Testament. This post originally appeared on crossway.org; used with permission.

Related Posts

Naked and Unashamed

Naked and Unashamed

Genesis 2:24-25, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” As Moses concludes his narrative on the creation of Adam and Eve, he...

How to Study Scripture to Show Yourself Approved to God

How to Study Scripture to Show Yourself Approved to God

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “How can we study Scripture to show ourselves approved?” What You'll Hear on this Episode The Context of 2 Timothy 2:15. What 2 Timothy 2:15 means. Whether 2 Timothy 2:15 means we can earn our way into heaven....

Taken Out of Man

Taken Out of Man

Genesis 2:21-23, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the...

Our Greatest Need

Our Greatest Need

On today’s For Life and Godliness show, Drew considers knowing our great need of Christ, how to be sure you are known by God, and availing yourself of the means of grace. What you’ll hear in this episode Critically assessing our needs versus our ultimate need for...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 4/1/2018-4/7/2018 - Servants of Grace - […] Sin Didn’t Kill Jesus—God Did by John MacArthur. https://servantsofgrace.org/sin-didnt-kill-jesus-god-did/ […]
  2. Weekly Roundup of Links 4/9/2018-4/14/2018 - Servants of Grace - […] Sin Didn’t Kill Jesus- God Did by John MacArthur. https://servantsofgrace.org/sin-didnt-kill-jesus-god-did/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share24
Tweet11
Email
Reddit
Share