A Study Of 2 Corinthians 5:21
The Bible never states that Christ was made a sinner on the cross.
It states that He was “made sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The fact that this was by a legal act of imputation (God charging the sins of His elect to Christ’s account) does not make it any less real.
Those who call this a legal fiction do not know and understand the Biblical truths of substitution, imputation, and satisfaction.
When our sins were imputed to Christ, they became His sins in reality (Psalm 40:12; Psalm 69:5).
It was not enough though that our sins were imputed to Him. He had to suffer all the pain, sorrow, agony, and death that we deserved. His suffering unto death on the cross was much, much more than a legal matter. It was a real soul-suffering unto death. The agony of His mind and soul cannot be described and it cannot be explained to our finite minds, but in all His suffering, He remained sinlessly perfect in His mind and soul, yet legally guilty and cursed before God for our sins.
Although He was legally guilty and cursed, His thoughts, actions, motives, and attitude during all this suffering were pure and perfect before the Lord.
He was never contaminated or corrupted in His mind, soul, and heart.
He retained within Himself perfect holiness, perfect faith, perfect love and obedience to His Father, and perfect love to His people. But with all His inward perfection, He was still legally guilty of and responsible for all our sins as they were “laid on Him” (Isaiah 53:6).
This is the language of substitution and imputation as stated in the Old Testament and pictured in the animal sacrifices offered to God in place of Israel. When the high priest laid his hand upon the sacrifice, this was a picture of the sins of the people imputed (charged, accounted) to the innocent sacrifice.
The innocent sacrifice was never contaminated with the filth of their sins.
In the same way, our sins were laid on Christ, and He was never contaminated with the filth of our sins.
What a gracious and glorious exchange it was – our sins for His righteousness.