At Christmas the time of the year when most people are setting up nativity scenes not many set up a bloodied cross or an empty tomb to celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ yet his birth goes hand in hand with his death. Only true Christians know the immense and infinite significance of Christ’s death…He came as a lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. He came to die!
Imagine Christ, the sin bearer, approaching that hour…the hour of his appointed death. Is that a “Christmasy” thought? You bet! It gets better when you understand the reason why his death was was necessary.
Horatius Bonar puts it this way…
The feelings of the trembling sinner, when awakened under the terrors of the divine law, and made alive to the hell of sin within him, may help to give us some faint idea of the way in which the burden of our sins pressed upon Christ. It is true He had no sin—not the shadow of sin upon Him, for He was the Holy One; yet He speaks always of our sins as if they were His own, as if He had committed them. He felt under them just as if they were His own. He was perfectly holy, yet so closely were our sins bound upon Him by God, that He felt the pressure just as if they were His own.
Being our substitute, God dealt with Him as such—as if the sins He bore had really been His, not ours. Being thus in the eye of the law identified with those whose sins He bore, He was made to feel what they would have been doomed to feel, had God left them to reap themselves the fruit of their own transgressions. This awful burden He bore alone. He had none to aid Him; none to relieve Him of any part of its overwhelming pressure. There was none that could assist Him. There was none to divide the burden with Him; nor to uphold Him under it. “My lovers and my friends stand aloof…and my kinsmen stand afar off.” They all forsook Him and fled. And, as He bare it alone, so He bare it fully.
Though He was alone, yet He bore it all; He left no part unborne. Though alone, He was sufficient to bear it all; His being alone did not make His sacrifice less perfect, or its effects less complete. By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. It was an infinite work, but He accomplished it all. It was an infinite burden, but He sustained it all. It was an infinite penalty, but He exhausted it all. Not a stroke was left behind. Not one drop of the cup of judgment put into His hands was left behind. Observe, then, that in bearing our sins He really exhausted the penalty. The penalty was not warded off and prevented reaching us merely; it was exhausted. He bore the punishment which we should have borne, and thereby not merely prevented the law from arresting us with its claims and penalties, but actually satisfied the law to the full. “Christ,” says the apostle, “hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…” (Gal 3:13).
Excerpt from The Sin Bearer by Horatius Bonar. (A free download)