At the very heart of the Christian faith is the glorious truth of CHRIST as the SIN-BEARER of HIS people. If you take away the substitutionary aspect of CHRIST’s death in the behalf of HIS elect, you are left with nothing more than a death by example or a pending transaction rather than a satisfaction of the law and a cancellation of sin by that death. The very meaning of redemption is a payment made and a product secured. The payment is the Blood of CHRIST and the product secured is the deliverance of those, (for whom that payment is made), from sin’s captivity and dominion.
The prevailing teaching of “nominal Christianity” in our day is a portrayal of CHRIST’s death as a quasi-payment for sin which is contingent upon the response of men in order for it to be effectual in the cancellation of their sin debt. This is a gross departure from that which is taught in the scriptures. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb 9:12) If HE has “obtained” that redemption then nothing could possibly be lacking nor could there be any sort of contingency which could, either, make it null and void or enhance its effect.
The doctrine which declares that JESUS CHRIST died for each and every individual on earth but actually secures the redemption and salvation of none, is a damnable heresy which makes a mockery of the LORD’s final words on Calvary’s cross, “It is finished”. It is to embrace the unthinkable notion that HIS blood is shed in vain and HIS purpose is left unaccomplished.
Yet from the average pulpit around the world this drivel is spouted forth as being the true gospel. The ONE who bore HIS people’s sin and removed it as far as the east is from the west is portrayed as ONE who did all HE could to save every individual in the world but in the end came up short and had to settle for only a portion of that which HE bled for. This is to deny the declaration of Isaiah, the prophet, who said “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: “ (Isa 53:11) Either HE tried to save all men and failed or HE purposed to save HIS elect BRIDE and accomplished that fully and completely. The latter is true, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many” (Heb 9:28) HE is satisfied with that possession which HE purchased with HIS own blood having accomplished her warfare and pardoned her iniquity.
The Psalmist is writing as CHRIST speaking in the FIRST PERSON when he says, “the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen on me.” The Hebrew word “reproaches”, which is used here, means an open source of shame. That which is a reproach cannot be hidden; it is rather put on display for all to see. This Hebrew word, “cherpah”, literally means “the pudenda” (the private regions of the body). This is the same area of the body that Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover and is that region of the body which men and women, generally, try to conceal. The fact that the meaning of this word is associated with “nakedness” is illustrated for us in Isaiah 47:3.
When the LORD pronounced HIS judgment upon Babylon HE said, “Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.” (Isa 47:3) The word which is translated “shame” is the exact same word, “cherpah” which is found in this Psalm. So, it is their “nakedness” which is the source of “shame”. How embarrassing for men (and women) to be discovered in their nakedness by those whom we do not wish to be put on display in front of. This is the exact condition that the man who has been awakened from the deadness of sin sees himself before GOD’s all-seeing eye.
It is this “reproach” which the LORD JESUS gladly took upon HIMSELF as HE was stripped naked and nailed to Calvary’s cross, that it might be illustrated to HIS elect the transfer of their shame to HIM. HE said “the zeal of THINE house hath eaten me up”, meaning that HE was consumed with a desire to bring glory to HIS FATHER in the fulfillment of HIS purpose, which was to purchase the eternal redemption of HIS people by bearing the shame that should have been theirs and the guilt which was associated with that shame. Truly, we see HIM, as the ONE of whom the prophet testified, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa 53:3-5)
The “hucksters of healing” tell us that all men can possibly be “physically healed” by HIS “stripes” yet they freely admit that many will not be healed. If this is true, then there is no power in that which CHRIST did. These false prophets tell us that this healing only works if we add our faith to it and thus, they degrade the work of CHRIST and make it a mere lucky charm which may or may not work, all dependent on the cooperation of man’s free will. Such a doctrine as this denies both the purpose of CHRIST’s atonement and the power of it.
Any view of the atonement of CHRIST which makes its effectiveness contingent on the cooperation or ratification of men is foreign to that which is described in the scriptures. As well as any view of it which does not declare its sole purpose to be the redemption of CHRIST’s elect children from sin’s curse and the power of its final effects.
CHRIST has borne the reproach of HIS people as their SUBSTITUTE. The ONE who had no sin became sin for them. The ONE who was not guilty became guilty for them. The ONE, who had nothing to be ashamed of, was covered in their shame and in that shame put on display before devils, men, angels, and the gaze of a HOLY GOD’s justice.
CHRIST has borne the reproach of HIS elect bride as her SIN OFFERING or SACRIFICE. “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Heb 10:11-12)
CHRIST has borne the reproach of HIS people as their SATISFACTION before a HOLY GOD. HE has made a way into the Holy of Holies for them, by HIS presence in the heavens. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Heb 7:26-27) “He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25)
CHRIST has borne the reproach of HIS bride as her SANCTIFICATION. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Co 1:30) The sanctification of GOD’s people is not an ongoing activity but rather an accomplished fact. HE is the sum total of their RIGHTEOUSNESS before the throne of GOD. “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:10)mam