Title: SIN LAID UPON CHRIST
Text: Isaiah 53:6
Subject: Substitutionary Redemption
Date: Friday Evening - September 4, 1998
19th Annual Sovereign Grace
"All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all."
In this passage of Holy Scripture the prophet Isaiah speaks as the representative of God's elect. And in this one verse of scripture he plainly states three gospel truths experienced, believed and confessed by every person who is born again by God's almighty grace. Here are three doctrines held in common by all true believers.
Original Sin - "All we like sheep have gone astray." This is the doctrine of original sin. It is called original sin, because it was the first sin. We all went astray from God in the sin and fall of our father, Adam.
Illustration: "I've seen better days!"
This is the doctrine of original sin as it is set forth in the Word of God.
· Adam was the federal head and representative of all men.
· Adam's sin was imputed to all men.
· Adam's depraved nature is imparted to all men by natural generation.
Personal Depravity - In Adam we suffered a great fall and a great loss. We fell from God's favor into condemnation. We fell from sinlessness into sinfulness. We lost original righteousness, fellowship with God, access to God, and all spiritual life. We fell from life into death, from liberty into bondage, from peace into enmity, and from light into darkness. But that is not all. We are sinners by imputation, by birth, and by nature (Psa. 51:5; Matt. 15:19). But we are all sinners by personal choice too.
This is the doctrine of personal depravity. "We have turned everyone to his own way." Because the heart of man, at birth, “is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9; Gen. 6:5), we are all "estranged from the womb" and go astray as soon as we are born, speaking lies (Psa. 58:3). "We have turned everyone to his own way."
God's elect are like all other men by nature, ever going astray from God. Like sheep, foolish and ignorant, we ever stray from the Good Shepherd and the fold of grace, ever stray from the path of peace and the way of life. Until we were looked up, sought out, and brought back by the Shepherd, we would never return. We had neither the will nor the ability to return to our God. Rather, we "turned everyone to his own way," the way of his own choosing.
We would never turn to the good way, but always to the dark, crooked, slippery way. Some turn to this way of sin, and some to that, but all to his own way. Sometimes it is the way of profligacy, and sometimes the way of morality, and sometimes the way of self-righteous religion. It is always "a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Whatever the way is which you choose, "destruction and misery" are in your way.
None will ever return from "his own way" until Christ, the Good Shepherd, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, by an act of almighty, efficacious grace causes him to return. Only omnipotent grace will cause a sinner to turn from "his own way" to Christ, "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." May God be pleased to lay hold of some of his straying ones by his almighty grace, and cause you to turn to Christ.
This is original sin - "All we like sheep have gone astray." This is personal depravity - "We have turned every one to his own way." Yet, there is hope. There is hope for straying sheep! There is hope for helpless, ignorant sinners. Our text gives hope to the hopeless, because it reveals the glorious gospel doctrine of...
Substitutionary Redemption - "And the Lord hat laid on him the iniquity of us all." Can you grasp this glorious truth? God the Father, against whom we have sinned, from whom we have strayed, whose law we have broken, whose justice must be satisfied, has laid upon the Lord Jesus Christ, his own dear Son, all the sins of all his elect. The Son of God was made to be sin for us, so that he might be justly punished for sin in our stead, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (II Cor. 5:21).
PROPOSITION: Our sins have all been laid upon Christ, by whose death justice has been satisfied and our sins forever put away.
Now, I want to show you six things from this verse of scripture, for the comfort and edification of all who believe and for the conversion of you who yet believe not. May God the Holy Spirit speak through these lips of clay to your hearts by his grace. What do those words teach us: "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all"?
I. OUR INIQUITY ITSELF WAS LAID UPON CHRIST.
Not only was the Lord of Glory punished for sin, he was made to be sin. Not only did Christ bear the wrath and indignation of God against sin, he was made sin. The Son of God was made to be sin for us because there was no possible way in the world for God's elect to be discharged of their sins, but for Christ to be made sin.
A. God's eternal determination to redeem was a matter of pure, free, sovereign grace.
1. God did not have to redeem anyone.
2. There was nothing in us to compel God's favor.
B. But once God determined to redeem and save an elect people, he could do it only by the satisfaction of justice, only by making Christ to be sin for us.
Illustration: Darius' Delimma (Dan. 6:4-17).
Be sure you understand this - God almighty could not justify his people unless he found a way to make them righteous; and he could not punish his Son unless he made him to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
God the Father looked upon Christ as the Surety of his elect in the covenant of grace, and said, "Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom" (Job 33:24). And he "Laid on him the iniquity of us all."
All the sins of all the elect were gathered together as one huge hideous, obnoxious load, and made to meet upon Christ. He was made to be sin for us and punished as the sinner in our place (Psa. 40:12; 69:5; Zech. 13:7).
By this means "the law and justice of God had full satisfaction and our recovery from ruin and destruction is procured" (John Gill).
II. OUR INIQUITY REALLY BECAME OUR SUBSTITUTE'S INIQUITY BY DIVINE IMPUTATION.
Speaking as our Substitute, the Son of God cried, "Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me...My sins are not hid from thee" (Psa. 40:12; 69:5). Jesus Christ never knew sin. Yet, he died as the greatest sinner who ever lived, for he was made to bear all the sins of all his elect.
Christ really did bear all our sin. Just as a Surety is really the debtor, when he willingly puts himself in the room of another.
Illustration: Grider's Experience.
Christ gave his bond as our Surety in the covenant of grace. God the Father, having accepted Christ as our Surety, cannot look for payment from us. If he will have payment for sin, he must have it from him upon whom the debt has been laid (II Cor. 5:18-21).
Payment God cannot twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety's hand,
And then again at mine!
III. IT IS THE LORD GOD HIMSELF THAT MADE CHRIST TO BE SIN FOR US.
"The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The triune God agreed in covenant love to lay all our sins, all the sins of all his elect, upon the Son. Sin, the greatest burden in the world, the most loathsome thing in the universe, the load that must have crushed our souls into hell's eternal misery, has been laid upon the God-man by God's own hand! Look at verse 10 of Isaiah 53.
This great, mighty transfer of sin, from the sinner to the sinner's Surety was...
· Sought By Infinite Love.
· Conceived By Infinite Wisdom
· Ordained By Infinite Grace.
· Executed By Infinite Justice.
IV. NONE BUT GOD COULD DO IT!
Who but God could lay sin upon God? Who but God could punish God for sin? Who but God could dispose of sin for the salvation of his people?
Some think we lay our sins upon Christ! You cannot even lay your hand upon him, much less your sin! If you imagine that your prayers, tears, mournings, fastings, and confessions can lay your sins off yourself and on Christ, you are just beating the air!. Your wisdom is ignorance! And your religion is blasphemy! To lay iniquity upon Christ is the work of Jehovah alone.
A. God the Father laid sin upon Christ for the satisfaction of his own justice (II Cor. 5:21).
B. God the Son laid sin upon himself for the redemption of his people (I Pet. 2:24).
C. God the Holy Spirit lays sin upon Christ in the revelation of the gospel (John 16:8-11).
We do not lay our sins upon Christ by faith. We see our sins laid on him, punished in him, and removed by him by faith; but faith does not lay anything on Christ.
V. I want you to see that THIS IS THE MOST SOUL COMFORTING TRUTH IN ALL THE WORLD. - "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Blessed are those people who have this gospel published to them. Blessed are those who have ears to hear this good news. The transfer of sin from you to Christ is not something that must be done. It is something already done. The text does not say, “The Lord shall lay the iniquities of us all upon Christ if we will meet certain conditions and terms." It says, "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all!" (Read Rom. 10:6-8!).
The Lord has done it! There is nothing for you to do! Faith simply receives, believes and rejoices in what the Lord has done. It adds nothing to it.
Illustration: A Prisoner Receiving Pardon.
When did the Lord do this? It is true, God applies the pardon of sin at conversion. But our sins were laid upon Christ and put away by him long before we believe.
A. God the Father laid our sins upon his dear Son, our Surety, in his eternal decree (Rev. 13:8; I Pet. 1:18-21).
B. God executed his decree, laying sin upon his Son when he hung upon the cursed tree.
C. God will never make another transfer of sin!
There is not a moment in time, or a condition possible, in which God will transfer sin back from Christ to his people. Sin, once laid upon the scapegoat, is carried away into the land of forgetfulness, never to be seen, or brought back, again!
"Nothing, either great or small, Nothing, sinner, no;
Jesus did it, did it all, Long, long ago.
Weary, working, plodding one, Why toil you so?
Cease your doing; all was done Long, long ago.
Till to Jesus' work you cling By a simple faith,
"Doing" is a deadly thing, "Doing" ends in death.
Cast your deadly "doing" down, Down at Jesus' feet,
Stand in Him, in Him alone, Gloriously complete!"
VI. CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, THE ONE UPON WHOM SIN HAS BEEN LAID, IS MIGHTY TO SAVE.
Read the text once more, laying all the weight and emphasis of the text on one word. "The Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all." This is of infinite importance. That One upon whom sin has been laid must have a back strong enough and shoulders broad enough to carry the horrible load of iniquity, without sinking beneath it. Were it possible for our Surety to fail we would be utterly without hope. The comfort and hope of the gospel depends entirely upon the ability of Christ to bear our sins, satisfy justice and execute his gracious will. Therefore, it is written, "The Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all."
And of this mighty One it is written, "He shall not fail, nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth" (Isa. 42:4).
Who is this great "HIM" upon whom iniquity has been laid? He is...
· Jehovah's Servant (52:13).
· The Root Out of Dry Ground (v. 2).
· The Despised and Rejected Man of Sorrows (v. 3).
· The Innocent, Holy Substitute (vv. 8-9).
· The Successful Savior (vv. 10-11).
· The Sovereign Lord (v. 12).
Here is the most wonderful, astounding, amazing thing ever performed by our great God. "The Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all." Sin is the most hateful thing in the world to God. It is the only thing in the world God abhors. It is horrible, abominable, hideous in God sight. Yet, God made his lovely Son to be sin for us! I am amazed to think that God made his Son to be a man, to be a poor man, to be a suffering man, to be crucified man. But when I read that "he hath made HIM to be sin for us, who knew no sin," I am altogether astonished! This is too wonderful, too sublime, too mysterious, too divine for our puny brains to apprehend. Surely, such extraordinary work as this is designed to accomplish extraordinary things. What are they? Why is it that "the Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all”?
I cannot begin to answer such a question. We will, I am sure, spend eternity discovering the answers to this great question. But there are a few answers plainly revealed for our comfort, encouragement, faith, and hope. God made his Son to be sin for us...
A. That He Might Be Satisfied!
· To Satisfy His Purpose Of Grace
· To Satisfy His Inflexible Justice
B. That He Might Show The World The Exceeding Horrid Loathsomeness Of Sin!
C. That He Might Commend To Us His Infinite Love!
D. That We Might Be Made The Righteousness Of God In Him!
God was determined to have a people as pure, holy, clear, and righteous as himself, in whom to show forth the glory of his grace (Eph. 1:3-14; 2:7).
E. That Believing Sinners Might Have A Strong Consolation In This World!
· In The Midst Of Trial.
· In The Midst Of Temptation.
· In The Midst Of Sin.
· In The Prospect Of Eternity.
F. That His Elect Might Be Freed From All Fear Of Condemnation! (Rom. 8:1, 32-39).
G. That At The Appointed Time Christ And His People Might Eternally Enjoy The Purchased Possession Of Heavenly Glory And Bliss!
There is no possession laid up for God's saints in glory, but by the laying of our iniquity upon Christ.
· Not By Our Works!
· Not By Our Faithfulness!
· Not Even By Our Faith!
Tobias Crisp wrote: "No unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of heaven. When we attain to the height of sanctification, we remain yet unclean, for there is pollution in the best of it. When we die, suppose we are more holy in life than any that went before us; yet, there is not so much holiness of life in us, but that there remains still some uncleanness, and unmortification of life in thoughts and practice, some deadness and indisposition in our hearts and affections to holiness. And with this unholiness, we lie down in the dust, if all our uncleanness were not laid upon Christ, that so we might enter into rest, as perfect and complete in him."
VII. THIS GREAT TRANSACTION OF WISDOM, JUSTICE, AND GRACE WAS MADE FOR A SPECIFIC PEOPLE HERE CALLED “US ALL”!
I must stop, though I have not yet begun to declare the depths of our text. "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
· “Us all,” for whom the Son of God obtained eternal redemption.
· "Us all,” to whom it is revealed.
· "Us all,” who were chosen by grace.
· "Us all,” who are called by the Spirit.
· "Us all,” who believe.
· "Us all,” who are now made free from sin and death.
· “Us all,” whom he calls “MY PEOPLE”.
“The Lord hath laid on
him the iniquity of us all."