How could Jesus bear our sins?


I need help answering a question. I know I can always count on you to help me out.

"The soul that sins dies. The son does not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father does not bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20).

In regards to this passage, I was asked: "In this text, it becomes clear that the father bears his own mistakes. Every person who makes mistakes bears his own fault. So, why did Christ bear the error of Adam the Prophet? The Gospel says that the son does not bear the fault of his father."

I know I won't be able to answer it well enough. I know we're to always have an answer for anyone who asks. Most of the time I have the answer. This time I didn't, and I didn't just want to say anything to them because that may lose their interest if it seems like I'm just saying something to say it. That is why I thought it would be best if I asked someone who is a bit more mature in their faith than I am.


"The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20).

"and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (I Peter 2:24).

The point in Ezekiel 18:20 is that each person is held responsible for his own sins. You are not held accountable for the sins committed by your parents or more distant ancestors. In Ezekiel, the Jews were claiming that they were being punished with captivity because their ancestors sinned. In other words, they were claiming that they were not responsible. God is pointing out they were in captivity because they were continuing to commit the same sins their ancestors committed. Thus, Jesus was not being held responsible for Adam's sin or anyone else's sins. Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

However, that does not mean Jesus could not be chosen to carry the sins of the world. There is an allusion here to the scapegoat. "Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness" (Leviticus 16:21-22). The goat did not become responsible for Israel's sins, nor was the goat sinful because it was chosen to carry Israel's sins. What it did was represent the removal of sin. In the same way, Jesus carried our sins away.

Though Jesus committed no sin, he voluntarily took on the punishment that our sins deserved so that we would not have to face the wrath of God. In a sense, he was treated as if he were a sinner (when he was not) so that we might be treated as if we were righteous (when we were not).

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