In the parable in Matthew 18:23–35, we can see that the servant who had a debt (sin) to the King was LOOSED and FORGIVEN for it. The debt was REMOVED. TAKEN AWAY. No one offered to pay the debt for this servant but it was simply ERASED due to his pleadings. However, when the same servant later refused to forgive another person, then the same debt was back on the table yet again! Had the debt been paid for originally, then the King couldn’t request for yet another payment of a debt which is already paid and settled, regardless of any bad behavior of the guilty servant. But we know that when we ask for forgiveness and repent, it’s our PAST sins that are forgiven and removed. Not our FUTURE sins. If Jesus had PAID for all our sins on the cross, then we would be BORN forgiven and saved. If we would sin, we could always suggest that we’re still safe since Jesus has already PAID for our transgressions, and this means we don’t have to. We could also suggest that we can actually serve two masters and still be saved, because our sins are already forgiven. We would actually be off the hook and free from punishment no matter what we did. Clearly this is not the true scenario. This is the parable:
Matt 18:23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and LOOSED him, and FORGAVE him the debt. 28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
When it comes to the animal sacrifice system in the OT, there are no verses which say anything close to ”sins were transferred to the animal”. Was the animal sacrificed OR punished? The animal certainly suffered and died as a result of the sin of man, but never did the animal become posessed by sin and die for those sins. This would imply guilt and that the animal was being punished for sins it did not commit. In the same way Jesus suffered and died because of man’s sin. He did not die because sin was transferred to Him, otherwise it would not be an adequate sacrifice. Rather than being an offering for sin and suffering an unjust death, he would have been punished for our sin which we know was not the case since He was without sin.
2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin
Hebrews 10:8 — saying above, Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou wouldst not, neither hadst pleasure therein.
It is not uncommon to the Scriptures to use the word ”sin” to refer to a ”sin offering” as the word ”sin” is translated ”sin offering” in numerous places throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Ezekiel, because the context of such passages is clearly referring to a sin offering and not an act of sin. In Leviticus alone, it is rightly translated as sin-offering over 50 times! The same is true in Hebrews 10:6-8 which is a quotation from Psalm 40:6. In the Psalm, the Septuagint also does not have the word ”sacrifice” in the text. Albert Barnes said ”To be sin – The words ”to be” are not in the original. Literally, it is, ”he has made him sin, or a sin-offering”. Even a footnote in the ASV gives sin-sacrifice as the meaning, as do other translations. This view of the atonement, that Christ suffered our penalty and took our punishment, has inevitably lead to the errors of universalism, limited atonement, unconditional salvation, and once saved always saved. These conclusions cannot be logically denied if the premise is accepted that Jesus Christ took our punishment or suffered the penalty for our sins.
Gal. 3:13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree
What is the curse of the law? Did the law of God ever demand for sinners to be crucified? No. In the civil government of Israel, the severest punishment of the law was stoning. Crucifixion was sanctioned by Roman law, but it was not sanctioned by Jewish law. Under the moral government of God, the severe punishment of the law is eternal hell. That is why the text says that Jesus suffer ”a curse” not suffered ”the curse of the law”. The curse of the law is what we are saved FROM; a curse is what he ENDURED. The curse of the law was SUBSTITUTED with a curse.”
Jesus Christ shed his blood ”for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28), but the Bible says that even after the atonement that sinners must still repent ”for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38)
Jesus died to reconcile God and man (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21) but after the atonement we have the ”ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18) and after the atonement we are to tell men ”be ye reconciled unto God”(2 Cor. 5:20)
If Christ bore the sinner’s punishment as a Substitute, then the sinner is unconditionally free from it, for both the sinner and the Substitute cannot be justly punished for the same offence. The theory, therefore, leads necessarily to either universalism on the one hand, or unconditional election on the other. The truth is though that Jesus died on my behalf but did not take MY place on the cross.
The animal for a sin-offering had to be absolutely pure, without a blemish, all of which Jesus was. For Him to have become ”sin” in the sense of disobedience to God, He would have become a blemished sacrifice. The priests making an offering under the Law also had to be as spotless as the sacrifice they offered. Just so, Jesus as High Priest was ”holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heaven … when he offered up himself,” Hebrews 7:26-27. Leviticus 16:22 says the scapegoat will ”bear … unto a land” the sins of the people. This was figurative, meaning to ”take away” sins, remove sins as is the likely definition of ”azazel.” The scapegoat symbolized the removal of sins. This is exactly the meaning to be attached to Jesus’ ”bearing our sins”.
Isaiah 53:4, 11-12.Surely he hath borne (nasa) our griefs, and carried (sabal) our sorrows … for he shall bear (sabal) their iniquities … and he bare (nasa) the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Notice that the two words are used interchangeably.
Matthew 8:16-17And when even was come, they brought unto him many possessed with demons: and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.
What Jesus performed in healing the physical diseases was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4, specifically that He bore (nasa) our griefs and carried (sabal) our sorrows. But, their diseases were not transferred to Jesus so that he then became a leper, demon possessed, blind, etc. Yet, he ”bore” their diseases in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4 and he took away their diseases! The Greek word for ”bare” in Matthew 8:17 is bastazo, which is the inspired translation of nasa. Bastazo may mean to take up, to transport, to carry, to take away or to remove. In this figurative use, the emphasis is on the taking away, removal. The word for ”took” in this passage is lambano. It’s obvious in Matthew 8:17 that bastazo and lambano are synonyms and mean to remove.
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear (bastazo).
Seeing that the Holy Spirit gives us the meaning of nasa and sabal in Isaiah 53:4, why should we understand these words to mean any differently in Isaiah 53:11-12 when it says He ”bare their iniquities” or ”bare the sins of many?” This only tells us that He ”took away” the sins and iniquities, not that the sins and iniquities were transferred to him or imputed to him.
Hebrews 9:26 …else must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself … so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation,” , 28.
Verse 28 repeats the subject of verse 26 with a slight change of words. ”Put away” in verse 26 becomes ”bear” in verse 28. ”Sacrifice” in verse 26, becomes ”offered” in verse 28. Jesus bore our sins in that He took them away.
I Peter 2:24″—who his own self bare (anaphero) our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
In this passage, the ”cross” replaces the altar as the place of sacrifice. The body of Jesus was offered up on an altar, an offering to God. The last sentein the Septuagint by anaphero. He ”shall bear (sabal/anaphero) their iniquities” and ”he bare (nasa/anaphero) the sin of many”. We have seen the meaning of nasa and sabal to be to take away. The same is true in an offering up of a sacrifice.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on (paga) him the iniquity of us all
Paga is found in Isaiah 53:12 ”made intercession for the transgressors”. So, even in the context of verse 6, the same verb is used to mean ”intercession.” The Hebrew scholars who translated Isaiah 53:6 into Greek ”and the Lord gave him up for our sins”. The verb paredoken, from paradidomi, means to deliver up or intercede. Paradidomi is in the following two N.T. passages,
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?
John 1:29 On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!
I Peter 2:24…who his own self bare (removed) our own sins in his body upon the tree
The fact that Jesus ”bore” our sins and iniquities does not mean our sins, guilt and punishment were transferred (imputed) to him. His death actually occurred but the terms used to describe what it accomplished are used figuratively.
1 Cor. 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Jesus indeed paid a high price for us because he gave up his LIFE for us! The price he bought us with was his life. It doesn’t say we are purchased unconditionally though. In the same breath Paul tells us to NOT be servants of men. What would happen if we disobeyed him and became servants of men (as in living for people instead of God)?
Partly from Jesse Morell and Mike DeSario