Crucified for Sins

Satan loves to trivialize and diminish the horrors of sin by cloaking it in soft, therapeutic language. He loves to deceive us into playing the victim rather than the perpetrator. Don’t fall for it, Christian. As the Scriptures testify, sin is real and there is death and hell to pay for our rebellion against God’s kindness and grace. The good news, however, and the ground upon which all our hope is founded, is that Christ is an equally real and mighty Saviour.

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 out into the wilderness by the hand of a man ready to do this. (Leviticus 16:21 LSB)

In our modern, over-psychologized world, the biblical concept of sin has been all but obliterated. Simply consider the way transgressions have been usurped by “struggles,” iniquities by “trauma,” guilt by “poor self-esteem,” and sins by “breakdowns” and “stress.” Indeed, if any fault is admitted on the part of the person in question (and such occasions are rare), responsibility for these faults is usually off-loaded onto some ready-made excuse like so many sacks of grain onto a Peruvian pack mule.

In other words, we moderns deeply resent the idea that we might actually bear moral culpability for our actions, and thus we are only too willing to shield ourselves from the implications of such a prospect. As Malcolm Muggeridge wisely noted, “The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.” We simply hate that we are sinners.

In the Scriptures, however, sin is not the kind of thing that can be done away with through the mere swapping of terms. It is not, like a stray cat or dog, something that can be renamed and domesticated. In fact, sin is startlingly objective in character, placing us under a real and equally objective state of condemnation and guilt. This is because sin in the Bible is not the mere breaking of arbitrary rules; it is personal and calculated rebellion against the infinitely good and holy God. It is open defiance against the Lord of heaven and earth, rank ingratitude toward the Giver of all grace.

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