Articles

Sins Are Borne in the Body

Sins are borne in the body.

Actual sins, yours and mine, are borne in actual bodies, whether its your body when someone sins against you, or the body of others when we sin against them. Some of these sins can be seen: bruises, broken bones, a dead body. Some sins are not so easily seen, but are no less actual: lust, coveting, gossiping, lying, the secret desires of the heart, emotional and psychological abuse.

When I was a kid, I remember stealing one of my little brother’s most treasured Space Legos: a light piece! As he chased me around the living room table begging me to return it, he tripped on the carpet and split his head open on the chipped corner of the glass end table. He received a half a dozen stitches and, to this day, still has a Harry Potter-esque jagged scar at his hairline. My sin is borne in my brother’s body.

All your sin is borne in the body of Jesus Christ. 

When Thomas (The Twin), one of the disciples finally lays his eyes and his hands on his Crucified and newly Risen Lord, he confesses,”My Lord and My God!” (John 20:24-29) He makes this confession in part because upon sticking his finger in the nail holes and the hole in his side, he discovered something that he had heard from John the Baptist concerning the promise of Jesus Christ prior to his crucifixion: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) When Thomas stuck his hand in the pierced side of his Lord, there he found the sins of the whole world, including his own! There they were, though no longer crushing Christ, causing him suffering,  or killing him, but they were there all defeated and dead. Christ had borne the sin of the whole world, bodily, but he accomplished what you and I cannot: in his resurrection from the dead he defeated them, he is victorious over all sin.

So what about those sins with their train of wreck scared, mangled, and murdered bodies, minds, and souls that fill the valleys of our lives? My brother still has his scar, after all. Or does he? This is when faith, which trusts the promise of Jesus Christ to forgive sin and believes what the ears hear from the mouth of the preacher, “It is finished,” bodily crucified in Jesus Christ. Faith believes Christ was made to be sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), and not just sin in general, but made to be my sin. Faith believes Christ’s accomplishment on the cross for the sinner’s sake, and not what sin is felt in my own body or the scares that are seen or unseen with my own eyes.

So that, in exchange, you might become the righteousness of God. 

When Christ forgives sin, he takes your sins- those you have perpetrated, and those sins perpetrated against you- in his own body and defeats them in his death on the cross. And when Christ takes your sins he is thorough and obsessive such that every last sin no longer belongs to you. They will never belong to you again, bodily or otherwise. They have no more jurisdiction over your conscience. In this stealing of all your sins unto Christ who was made to be your sin, you, in turn are made to be the righteousness of God, in faith now, and bodily in the world to come. While this is the most solemn day for our Christ, it is a truly Good Friday for us.

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