If the wages of sin is death, but Christ is sinless, how could He have died?


Email Received:

If the wages of sin is death, how could Christ have died? I would have thought he would have been immune to death, since he was sinless. I understand that God needed the perfect sacrifice. So I was thinking maybe Christ didn't actually die, but then he had to have died because he rose from the dead. Maybe he had to die to conquer death. Can you help me understand this please?


Ted's Response:

Isaiah 53:6 indicates that God laid our sin or iniquity upon the Messiah, Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 indicates that the one (Jesus) who had no sin, God made to be sin so that, in Him, we might become the righteousness of God. Here is a page that shows this in several versions of the Bible:

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/2-Corinthians-5-21

Many feel that when Jesus was on the cross and asked why God had forsaken Him (Matthew 27:46), He sensed that the Father, who cannot look upon sin, had turned away from Him. Yet, there is no doubt that Jesus Himself never sinned. To be the only valid source of atonement for our sins, He not only had to be perfectly sinless in His life but He also had to become sin (that is, to take up all of our sins) to qualify Him to be the target of God's wrath, on our behalf.

Essentially, Jesus absorbed our sins into His body, bore them on the cross (1 Peter 2:24), and experienced the suffering in his body and soul that was due us. That was the only way that we, ultimately, could become sinless and attain everlasting salvation from God's wrath against our sin. Faith in Jesus' blood atonement is what turns aside God's wrath from us, taking away our sins and justifying those who have faith in Him (Romans 4:25,26).

Even though I believe all of this, I do not understand how a sinless Jesus/God could "become" the collective sins of humanity. I do not think we fully can comprehend how, if the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), a sinless Jesus could have died. But it does make sense to me how the body and soul of Jesus/God, after absorbing our sins, would be made to suffer and experience death so that our bodies and souls would not have to suffer and die eternally.

Jesus was the firstfruits from the dead of all those who believe in Him and who also will be resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). He had to suffer death so that He could rise from the dead, and He tasted death for everyone who would believe in Him (Hebrews 2:9) so that they would not have to experience the second death (Revelation 2:11, 20:6,14, 21:8). By His death, He has sealed the eventual destruction of the devil, who holds the power of death (Hebrews 2:14).

All of these things are supernatural mysteries that I do not rack my brain trying to figure out. I just know that all of the details will be explained to us after Jesus returns, and I am quite willing to wait for that.


Return to Email Questions and Tedís Responses

Go to Tedís Bible Commentaries and Other Links

View the New International Version of the Bible

Go to Tedís Homepage