“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.”
in His own body on the tree
Jesus suffered both in his body and soul. His suffering in soul was not as apparent. He did suffer in his soul (Mt. 26:38).
The Greek word for “tree” is an object fashioned out of wood. Esther 5:14 translates this word “gallows.” Acts uses “tree” for the cross (5:30; 10:39: 13:29). The last time the New Testament uses this word is Galatians 3:13:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’).”
Jesus did not suffer for my sins in Gethsemane. He bore my sins on the cross. Jesus was at once both priest and victim.
that we, having died to sins,
“That” introduces a purpose clause.
“Died” is literally to be away from. It comes from two words: from and to become. “From” signifies separation. “Died” means to cease with a complete and abrupt change. This is a rare word. It means to cease to exist, to go out of being. Jesus separated us from our sins.
Some translate this word “to die,” but this is inexact. Literally, it means “having become off with respect to sins.” This means that Jesus disconnected us from our sins. This disconnection is the believer’s attitude toward sin because of what it took to pay for sin – the death of Jesus on the cross.
“Died” means having become off with respect to sins. This speaks of the action of God in breaking the power of the sinful nature. We need not be slaves to sin. The classical Greek renders this word “depart.” We have ceased from sins positionally (cf. Rom 6:1-23, esp. vv. 2, 10f). Christ died for all our sins. This is the action of God in breaking the sin capacity’s power when we place faith in Christ. From now on, we do not need to be a slave to sin (Rom 6:10).
Before we became Christians, we were dead in sin; now we are dead to sins.
God broke off the power of the sin capacity at the point of faith in Christ’s work on the cross. This means that sin does not have to control us. He forgives us of our sins when we confess them. Since our sins have already been judged when Jesus hung on the cross, the Father is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. There is a disconnection from sin. There we can live unto righteousness. So God identifies us with Christ as he hung upon the cross.
In God’s sight, he reckons us as being so identified with our Lord that what he predicates of him is also true of us. We died in his death. We raised in his resurrection. We seated with him when we ascended in glory. God views us as perpetually dead to every appeal that comes from the flesh.
In God’s reckoning, when Christ died, I died. This is a truth we cannot feel or smell. We hear it and believe it. We think God’s thoughts after him. God identifies us with Jesus as he hung on the cross. His life becomes our life. His righteousness becomes our righteousness. This is positional truth. His sonship becomes our sonship. God identifies us with Jesus Christ as he hung on the cross. We stopped sinning in God’s eyes. We died to sin.