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How did Jesus become sin for us?

As Jesus our Savior and God hung on the cross, and was about to experience the sin of the world, He said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Knowing that God cannot look upon sin:

  1. How is it that He became sin for us?
  2. Did God the Spirit leave the body of Jesus at that moment, separating body and soul?
  3. How was it that God forsook Jesus?

“Knowing that God cannot look upon sin,

How is it that He became sin for us?

The beginning of an answer to this question is found in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology in the article Death of Christ.

Did God the Spirit leave the body of Jesus at that moment, separating body and soul?

This question is answered in the attached PDF file called “Got Soul (32K).” You will need the FREE Acrobat Reader to view this file.

This is an old form of belief that the church repudiated in the second century called Gnosticism. Gnosticism was a form of belief that was most dangerous at the close of the second century. It most likely began much earlier than this date. There had been a tremendous influx of Gentiles into the early church. This influx brought with it several elements of the Greek philosophical mindset. The basic presupposition of this philosophy was dualism. This dualism says that spirit is good and material is evil. Salvation was an escape from the realm of matter to spirit via knowledge. This conflict became most acute in the understanding of the person of Jesus. The gnostic asked the question, “How could infinite pure spirit have anything to do with an evil material body?” There were two solutions to this dilemma.

  1. Jesus was not really human – he only appeared to be. This was called Docetism that came from the Greek word dekeo which is defined as “to seem.” This made Jesus a ghost, an illusion; he seemed to be a man but had no real existence.
  2. Jesus’ spirit did not inhabit his body until his baptism and his spirit left before his death. This was called Cerinthianism, from its leader, Cerinthus. This made Jesus a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde; one did not know when Jesus was human or when he was divine.
    The dualism of good and evil may be the background for what Jude says in v. 4a, i.e., …who changed the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. © 1999, Dr. Winn Griffin, All Rights Reserved

How was it that God forsook Jesus?

It may well be that Jesus was simply quoting the first verse of Psalm 22 which is a Psalm of victory to his mother, John, and others who were watching this awesome gift occur right in front of their eyes.

Winn Griffin’s participation in the church spans about 60 years, ministering in four different denominations, serving on the staff of three mega churches, and functioning as a pastor in four churches. He has a BA, MA, and two Doctor of Ministry degrees. In addition, he has authored two books and eight eBooks. Winn's focus on AskDrWinn is to give space for folks to ask about Bible stuff that they have questions about. He is married to Donna Faith and they have two adult children and live in Washington State. » Read Winn's Full Bio
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