“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
Peter here alludes to Isaiah 53:6,7. Jesus’ death on the cross is the most outstanding example of undeserved suffering.
Who Himself bore our sins
Why did Jesus die on the cross? The issue is the character of God. God cannot live with sin. If he were to allow sin to come into the world, he would be inconsistent with his own nature. Sin puts the justice of God into question. The judgment of Jesus on the cross was a judgment upon our personal sins.
“Who himself” is emphatic, stressing the personal connection of Jesus in death for our sins. Note the two phrases “who himself…his own body.” No one else could share this suffering. He was totally and uniquely capable of suffering for the sin of man. Jesus alone was able to save our souls from sin (Acts 4:12). Jesus took our punishment for our sins.
The value of his sacrifice is not in the extent of Jesus’ anguish on the cross but in the person who suffered. Jesus bore our sin judicially. God never made him sinful in his character.
“Bore” is a compound word made up of two words: to bring or bear and up. It denotes to lead or carry up, to offer. Jesus brought our sins to the cross (cf. Heb. 9:28; 2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus actually carried our sins in his own body on the tree. The sins that he took are the sins of the entire world. Jesus stood indicted with our sins (Isa. 53:6). Jesus bore our sins to the cross in his body (Gal. 3:13; Dt. 21:23).
“Bore” means to bear the punishment for our sins (Jn. 1:29). This satisfied God’s justice. As the scapegoat carried away the sins of the Israelite, so Jesus carries away our sin on the cross (Lev. 16:21,22). Jesus brought our sins to the cross in his own body. The Septuagint uses “bore” for a priest carrying a sacrifice up to the brazen altar. The brazen altar was 4 ½ feet high, approached by an incline (Lev. 14:20). Jesus took our sins to the cross instead of the altar. By this, Jesus broke the power of sin.
“Our sins” is emphatic. Jesus’ death freed us from both the penalty and the power of sin. He paid the penalty for our sin so that we will not have to go to hell. His death made it possible for us to “live for righteousness.”
Jesus’ unique person paid personally for our sin.
Rome crucified tens of thousands of people in her history, but only one of them was unique. Jesus was the God-man. He was undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever. This is his uniqueness. He is different from God in that he is a man, and he is different from a man in that he is God.
Do you love the Lord Jesus for taking your personal sins to the cross? He is unique. There is no only else like him.