Made Sin Or A Sin Offering?

Q. The leader of our Bible Study has been very firm in clarifying 2 Corinthians 5:21. She says that Jesus could not “become sin”, because He was sinless. She says that the verse should say He became the sin offering as we would say a perfect and spotless lamb became the sin offering. I would like to know your understanding of this very important Scripture.

A. Some modern translations suggest that the word for sin in 2 Cor 5:21 can mean a sin offering, but the Greek text doesn’t support this. Read literally, it says, “He (God) made Him (Jesus) sin for us.” The Greek word translated sin there appears 174 times in the New Testament and is never used in reference to an offering.

Jesus didn’t just receive the punishment that was due us. 2 Cor. 5:21 tells us that He was made “the aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many.” This is what caused the Father to turn away from Him and abandon Him on the cross (Matt. 27:46).

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