sin ? this was the necessary postulate of his work of atonement. ?Made sin for us,? therefore, is the abstract for the concrete, and made a sinner, in the sense that the penalty of sin fell upon him. See Meyer for substance.
We must, however, regard this interpretation of Meyer?s as coming short of the full meaning of the apostle. As justification is not simply remission of actual punishment but is also deliverance from the obligation to suffer punishment, in other words, as righteousness? in the text = persons delivered from the quilt as well as from the penalty of sin, so the contrasted term ?sin,? in the text, = a person not only actually punished, but also under obligation to suffer punishment. In other words, Christ is ?made sin,? not only in the sense of being put under penalty, but also in the sense of being put under quilt. (Cf. Symington, Atonement, 17.)
In a note to the last edition of Meyer, this is substantially granted. ?It is to be noted,? he says, ?that ajmarti>an , like kata>ra in <480313>Galatians 3:13, necessarily includes in itself the notion of guilt.? Meyer adds, however: ?The guilt of which Christ appears as bearer was not his own mh< gnonta aJmarti>an ; hence the guilt of men was transferred to him. Consequently the justification of men is by imputation.? Here the implication that the guilt, which Christ bears, is his simply by imputation seems to us contrary to the analogy of faith. As Adam?s sin is ours only because we are actually one with Adam, and as Christ?s righteousness is imputed to us only as we are actually united to Christ, so our sins are imputed to Christ only as Christ is actually one with the race. He was ?made sin? by being made one with the sinners: he took our guilt by taking our nature. He who ?knew no sin? came to be ?sin for us? by being born of a sinful stock; by inheritance the common guilt of the race became his. Guilt was not simply imputed to Christ; it was imparted also.
This exposition may, more clearly be made, by putting the two contrasted thoughts in parallel columns as follows:
Made righteousness in him = Made sin for us =
righteous persons a sinful person justified persons a condemned person freed from guilt, or obligation to suffer put under guilt, or obligation to suffer by spiritual union with Christ. by natural union with the race.
For a good exposition of <470521>2 Corinthians 5:21, <480313>Galatians 3:13, and <450325> Romans 3:25, 26, see Denney, Studies in Theology, 109-124.
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