Derek Prince - Jesus Became The Sin Offering For The Human Race
This is an excerpt from: Complete Salvation And How To Receive It - Part 1
But in the course of time I made two discoveries or I found two ways of communicating this to people. There are two key words which I believe God has given me to explain what took place when Jesus died on the cross. The first word is exchange, the second word is identification. Let me take a little while now to explain the nature of the exchange that took place. I think the key verse is Isaiah 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way That's the problem of the whole human race. That's the one thing of which we're all guilty. We've all turned to our own way. We haven't all robbed a bank or committed adultery, gotten drunk or stolen; but there's one thing we have all done, we have turned to our own way. And God says your way is not my way.
And then the latter part of the verse says: and the Lord has laid on him [Jesus, or made to meet together on him] the iniquity of us all. So going our own way, turning our back on God is called iniquity. It's a very strong word. But I've researched this word in Hebrew, gone through the Old Testament. The Hebrew word is avon, if anybody wants to know it. I've discovered that it means not just doing wrong but the penalties and the judgment that follow doing wrong. It's one all inclusive word for iniquity and God's judgment and punishment on iniquity. And so, the revelation is that God visited on Jesus the iniquity of us all, and all the evil consequences of iniquity. They all came on Jesus on the cross. He took the evil by a divine exchange that in return God might make the good available to us. Do you see that?
I like to help people do this a little bit vividly with the left hand and the right hand. So be careful you don't hit your neighbor on the nose. I'll do it first and you say it. The evil came upon Jesus [that's the left hand] that the good might be made available to us. Now, can you do that with your hand? The evil came upon Jesus that the good might be made available to us. Let's do it once more. The evil came upon Jesus that the good might be made available to us. Now, there's no reason for that. God didn't owe it, we had no claims on it; it's purely His measureless grace and His incomprehensible love. You know what grace is? Grace is what you can never earn. Most Christians don't really know what grace is because they're always trying to earn it. But you cannot earn what Jesus did for you on the cross.
If you try to be good enough you'll never receive it. It is purely grace. And it's received only by what? Faith, that's right. By grace you have been saved through faith. This is God's grace. I mean, I spend time sometimes just meditating on what Jesus did on my behalf and my mind can never fully comprehend it. The grace of the Lord that He came down, took our place, my place, and endured all the inexpressible evil that should have come upon me in my place. But He did it out of grace. And then I'd like to just very quickly go through about eight aspects of this exchange. I often preach this as a complete message but I just want to do it briefly here this evening.
Staying in Isaiah 53:4-5, it says: Surely he has borne our griefs But the correct literal meaning is sicknesses. and carried [or endured] our pains. Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement [or punishment] for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes [or wounds] we are healed. It's totally logical. There are two aspects of the exchange. First of all, Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Because He bore our punishment God's justice is satisfied and we can have peace with God. Being justified by faith we have peace with God.
And then Jesus took our sicknesses, bore our pains and by the wounds inflicted on His body He procured physical healing for us. Let's do these. First of all we'll do the spiritual, then we'll do the physical. I'll do it once and then you follow me. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Are you ready? Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Now the physical: Jesus was wounded that we might be healed. Jesus was wounded that we might be healed. Do you believe that? Then you know one thing you have to do? Say thank you. If you really believe it you have to say thank you. And thanking is the purest expression of faith. Many times we miss out because we don't say thank you.
And then in Isaiah 53:10 we read these words: When you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. So on the cross the soul of Jesus was made the sin offering for the world. Now, according to the ceremonies of the Old Covenant, when an animal was brought as a sin offering, the man who brought the animal confessed his sin to the priest, the priest laid his hands on the head of the animal and symbolically transferred the sin of the man to the animal. Then the animal paid the penalty for the man's sin. What's the penalty of sin? Death.
So the animal died as a substitute for the man. Now the writer of Hebrews says it's not possible for the blood of bulls or goats to take away sins, that was merely a prefiguring of what was to happen when Jesus died on the cross. But when Jesus died on the cross, His soul became the sin offering for the human race. Again, there is no way our minds can begin to comprehend what it meant for the Lord Jesus in all His purity and holiness to become identified with the awful sin of humanity. I'm not an outstandingly priggish person but when I think of some of the sins that are being committed in our society today, some of the awful sexual abuses and abnormalities; I shudder to think what it would mean even to me to have my soul identified with those sins.
And that's just a tiny minute fraction of what happened when Jesus' soul was made sin with all our sinfulness, yours and mine. But, it put away sin, you see. The writer of Hebrews says in the sacrifices of the Old Testament there was a reminder again made every year of sin. They never put away sin, they just reminded the people you're sinners, it will be covered for another year and then you'll have to come with the sacrifice again. But Jesus, the writer says, by one sacrifice of Himself put away sin forever. He dealt with sin by that sacrifice. So Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness.
Paul is quoting Isaiah 53:10 in 2 Corinthians 5:21. A lot of people don't realize that because of the fact that it's hidden in the language. 2 Corinthians 5:21: For God made him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. You see the exchange? Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness. Not our righteousness, not the best we can do because Isaiah says all our righteousness are filthy rags. Isaiah 61:10, one of my favorite verses says: He has given me a garment of salvation and wrapped me around with a robe of righteousness.
Now, never stop short at your garment of salvation. It's wonderful to have that but once you have the garment of salvation you can be wrapped around with the sinless righteousness of the Son of God. And it doesn't matter from what angle the devil looks at you, he's got nothing to say against you. The writer of Isaiah says, 'I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. My soul shall be joyful in my God, for he has given me a garment of salvation and covered me with a robe of righteousness.' I find that the majority of Christians have not even realized that. That we are covered with the righteousness of Jesus. Going on with the exchange, in Hebrews 2:9 the writer says: That by the grace of God Jesus tasted death for every man. In other words, He tasted death in the place of every human being. I want to say human being. My understanding is every descendant of Adam. I don't want to labor this point, but as far as I understand it, the atonement of Jesus only covered Adam and his descendants, it didn't cover angels. And if there were previous races on earth, it didn't cover them.
Jesus was the last Adam. God's interest in the Adamic race is staggering. I mean, it's another of the things you can never begin to comprehend why God should be so interested in Adam and his descendants is something that I believe it is all I can say. But when I start to think of reasons for it I come to an end. God began the human race in an extraordinary way. As far as I understand, Adam was created in a different way than any other creature. It says by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their hosts by the breath of his mouth. But when it comes to creating Adam, God molded a figure of clay with His own fingers and then that divine being, the second person of the Godhead, the word of God by whom all things were made that were made listen, He stooped and put His divine lips opposite the lips of clay and He breathed into him the breath of life.
The Hebrew word there for breathed is so powerful, it's viapach. The P sound is a plosive, and the het sound is an ongoing breath. God exploded Himself into Adam, He imparted His life to Adam. Think of the physical consequences. A body of clay became a living human soul with eyes, ears, organs and functions. What did that? The Spirit of God. So you see, really to believe in divine healing is very logical. Because, if your watch goes wrong you don't take it to the boot maker. If your body goes wrong, at least it's reasonable to take it to the body maker. Who is the body maker? The Lord and especially the Holy Spirit.
See, because it was the Spirit of God that did that. But when God came to redeem man listen, He stooped a lot lower. He stooped to the death at the cross. And when He'd risen up again on resurrection Sunday evening, He reenacted the first creation in the new creation. And it says Jesus breathed into them, He said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'
The word for breathed there in Greek is the word used for a flute player breathing into the mouth of his instrument. This is just a personal opinion. I don't myself envisage Jesus breathing collectively on all of them. I envisage Him coming up to each of them individually and breathing in the breath not just of divine life, but, listen, resurrection life. Life that had conquered sin and death, hell and the grave, Satan. A totally victorious life. I was teaching on this recently somewhere, and God gave me these words, I hope I can get them right because they just came to me. 'Eternal life, divine life, incorruptible life, undefeatable life, and indestructible life.'
What's that? That's the new birth. They were born again, they were saved, they passed out of Old Testament salvation which merely looks forward to New Testament salvation that looks back to an accomplished historical fact. You see, to be saved New Testament-wise you have to do two things. You have to confess Jesus as Lord and what else do you have to do? Believe that God raised Him from the dead. That was the first time they believed. That's New Testament salvation.