Jesus, the Greatest Sinner Who Ever Lived

jesus_suffering.35255309_stdAt the cross,God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

In order to save sinners, Jesus willingly became their sin. Jesus became the sin of all who would one day believe in Him. Therefore, on the cross, in the eyes of God, as Martin Luther once said, “Jesus became the worst sinner who ever lived.” As Jesus hung on the cross, God did not see His Son, but Sin.

With this reality in mind, Pastor Rick Gamache powerfully imagines what the Father’s words may have been toward the One hanging on the cross. The Father speaks…

Son of Man! Why have you sinned against me and heaped scorn on my great glory?

You are self-sufficient and self-righteous — consumed with yourself and puffed up and selfishly ambitious.

You rob me of my glory and worship what’s inside of you instead of looking out to the One who created you.

You are a greedy, lazy, gluttonous slanderer and gossip.

You are a lying, conceited, ungrateful, cruel adulterer.

You practice sexual immorality; you make pornography, and fill you mind with vulgarity.

You exchange my truth for a lie and worship the creature instead of the Creator. And so you are given up to your homosexual passions, dressing immodestly, and lusting after what is forbidden.

With all your heart you love perverse pleasure.

You hate your brother and murder him with the bullets of anger fired from your own heart.

You kill babies for your convenience.

You oppress the poor and deal slaves and ignore the needy.

You persecute my people.

You love money and prestige and honor.

You put on a cloak of outward piety, but inside you are filled with dead men’s bones — you hypocrite!

You are lukewarm and easily enticed by the world.

You covet and can’t have so you murder.

You are filled with envy and rage and bitterness and unforgiveness.

You blame others for your sin and are too proud to even call it sin.

You are never slow to speak.

And you have a razor tongue that lashes and cuts with its criticism and sinful judgment.

Your words do not impart grace. Instead your mouth is a fountain of condemnation and guilt and obscene talk.

You are a false prophet leading people astray.

You mock your parents.

You have no self-control.

You are a betrayer who stirs up division and factions.

You’re a drunkard and a thief.

You’re an anxious coward.

You do not trust me.

You blaspheme against me.

You are an un-submissive wife.

And you are a lazy, disengaged husband.

You file for divorce and crush the parable of my love for the church.

You’re a pimp and a drug dealer.

You practice divination and worship demons.

The list of your sins goes on and on and on and on. And I hate these things inside of you. I’m filled with disgust, and indignation for your sin consumes me.

Now, drink my cup!

And Jesus does. He drinks for hours. He downs every drop of the scalding liquid of God’s own hatred of sin mingled with his white-hot wrath against that sin. This is the Father’s cup: omnipotent hatred and anger for the sins of every generation past, present, and future — omnipotent wrath directed at one naked man hanging on a cross.

The Father can no longer look at his beloved Son, his heart’s treasure, the mirror-image of himself. He looks away.

Jesus pushes himself upward and howls to heaven, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Silence.

Separation.

Jesus whispers, “I’m thirsty,” and he sags.

The merciful centurion soaks a sponge in sour wine and lifts it on a reed to Jesus’ lips. And the sour wine is the sweetest drink he ever tasted.

Jesus pushes himself up again and cries, “It is finished.” And it is. Every sin of every child of God has been laid on Jesus and he drank the cup of God’s wrath dry.

It’s three o’clock, Friday afternoon, and Jesus finds one more surge of strength. He presses his torn feet against the spikes, straightens his legs, and with one last gasp of air cries out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”

And he dies.

The merciful centurion sees Jesus’ body fall far forward and his head drop low. He thrusts a spear up behind Jesus’ ribs—one more piercing for our transgression—and water and blood flow out of his broken heart.

In that moment mountains shake and rocks spilt; veils tear and tombs open.

And the merciful centurion looks up at the lifeless body of Jesus and is filled with awe. He drops to his knees and declares, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Mission accomplished. Sacrifice accepted.

(Read the whole narrative here).

May our hearts never grow cold in the face of such a love: that Jesus would become our sin and die our death! Even more, that He would endure our deserved hell in order to lovingly supply us with His deserved heaven. What wondrous love is this?

May we rest in knowing that Jesus has become our sin and has endured all our deserved judgment. In Christ, we no longer need to fear the fire of God’s wrath, for it has been quenched by the blood of the cross. There is no more wrath in the cup left for you. Only blessing remains.

HT: @nranieri for telling me about Gamache’s post.

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About Dana Dill

I am a happy slave of Jesus Christ, a thankful husband to Chawna Dill, and the youth pastor of South Shores Church. I'm here on assignment (Acts 20:24).
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3 Responses to Jesus, the Greatest Sinner Who Ever Lived

  1. Jay says:

    I must disagree. Jesus Christ never once became sin. Our sin was imputed to Him on that cross and dealt with in full. All the while Jesus Christ was and will forever will be the spotless, sinless Lamb of God. Sadly, the doctrine of imputation seems to be increasingly lost in the church today.

    Not one single Christian becomes inherently righteous at salvation. By grace, through faith we are imputed with the perfect righteousness of Christ. Our righteousness is outside of ourselves, but credited (imputed) to us. In the same token, Christ Jesus never once became sin – our sin was imputed to Him on the cross. A great transaction takes place – our sin imputed to Christ and His glorious righteousness imputed to us. Oh the depths and wisdom of God Almighty in the gospel of His Son!

    • Dana Dill says:

      Thanks for the comment, Jay.

      I don’t think you actually disagree.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you that God imputed onto Jesus our sins and punished Him in our place. It may help to say that I am not saying Jesus became a sinner (i.e. corrupted within by our sin), but that the sins of all who believe were imputed onto Him and God punished sin in Him. As Romans says, “he condemned sin in the flesh…” (8:3). In that sense, Jesus became sin and was accursed by God (Galatians 3:13). Also, using the language of Jesus becoming sin or being made into sin is simply using the language of 2 Corinthians 5:21.

      Again, thanks for the comment.

  2. Jay says:

    Hi Dana,
    Thanks for your reply. I believe you and I are on the same page, but my concern is over the following from the quote from Rick Gamache in the post:

    “Son of Man! Why have you sinned against me and heaped scorn on my great glory?”

    That is the statement in the post that I have a problem with. Pastor Gamache probably understands the doctrine of imputation as you correctly do, but the phrasing he uses implies that Jesus sinned against the Father. In fact, the quote flat out says, “you sinned against me”. Anyone reading that with no understanding of imputation would be led to believe that Jesus sinned – and that would be incredibly wrong.

    – Jay

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