“In The Likeness of Sinful Flesh”
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”
Oh! wonder, ye heavens, and be astonished, O earth, this precious, glorious, Holy One of God, the second Person in the adorable Trinity, became incarnate; the covenant Head became incarnate, for the express purpose of bearing my sins.
I ask you, my hearers, to look at the dearest relative you have upon earth.
Would you become a dog, or any brute, for the purpose of rescuing any dear relative from misery?
I scarcely think there is one among you who would think of such a thing. And yet my glorious Christ did not become a dog, but stooped lower, for a dog never committed the sins I have and became incarnate, “took upon Him the likeness of sinful flesh.”
I pray you pause here a moment. He did not take sinful flesh, though some wicked beings have been daring enough to say so. No; it is the “likeness” of sinful flesh.
“He knew no sin”, “He did no sin”; all sin was “laid upon Him”, but none was found in Him.
I beg of you always to keep up that distinction as long as you live the difference between sin being laid upon Him and sin being found in Him.
If sin had been found in Him in the smallest degree, His sacrifice had never been accepted, His offering had not been worth a straw.
But while all sin was laid upon Him, that is, all the sin of His Church, there was none to be found in Him.
The Father saw none, the Holy Ghost saw none.
“He knew no sin”; and yet this precious, glorious Christ put His shoulder under the yoke to bear all my sins.
Beloved, though I cannot say much about it, my very soul seems to melt at the thought that the huge burden of my sins, which would depress me to the very lowest hell for ever, has been carried away by my glorious Burden-bearer.
By Joseph Irons