2 Corinthians 5:21
For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I. CHRIST WAS PERSONALLY SINLESS. The conception and birth of Jesus, while they linked Him to human nature, did not connect Him with human depravity. He was the second holy man, but unlike the first He continued so. He understood the nature of sin, and knew what it was to be tempted; yet in His own experience He was sinless — He knew no sin in His desires, motives, volitions, or acts. His heart never knew self-disapprobation.
II. AS THE VOLUNTARY REPRESENTATIVE OF SINFUL MEN, CHRIST WAS THROUGH A LIMITED PERIOD ACCOUNTED BY GOD A TRANSGRESSOR. In this sense God "made" Christ sin. Christ was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He did not come into this condition by His own misconduct. Free from exposure to suffering on all personal grounds He consented to suffer for us. But Christ held this position only for a time — and Christ is the only suffering substitute of a guilty race for the purpose of redemption.
III. THE OBJECT OF GOD IN TREATING CHRIST AS A SINNER WAS TO PLACE HIMSELF IN A POSITION WHENCE HE MIGHT ACCOUNT SINFUL MEN RIGHTEOUS, AND REALLY WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHIN THEM. Generally the "righteousness of God" means that provision which God has made in the sacrifice of Christ for the justification of the ungodly. To be made the righteousness of God by Christ is to have our guilt removed by His sacrifice, and our persons sanctified. Conclusion: Behold —
1. The riches of the goodness of God! God made Christ sin to make us righteousness.
2. The unutterable love of Christ. He who knew no sin made sin for us, and this not by constraint, but willingly, not for self interest, but of a ready mind.
3. An absolute human necessity provided for. But for this interposition.
(1) We are lost.
(2) We have no meeting place with God.
(3) We have no offering wherewith to come before God.
4. The hopeful circumstances in which mankind are placed, and the security of such as participate in Christ's mediation!
5. The lessons which by Christ's mediation God reads to His intelligent universe (Luke 15.).
Parallel VersesKJV: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.