Let’s read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (NKJV)

We must be very careful in trying to determine the meaning of Christ being made sin for us. It doesn’t say that Christ became sinful. That would be an impossibility. Christ ‘knew no sin’. We read of the Lord Jesus in Hebrews 7:26 which says, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, UNDEFILED, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” This was written after His death, burial, and resurrection and speaks of Him being undefiled. How is it then that Christ was made sin for us?

The Lord was essentially made a ‘sin offering’ or a ‘sin bearer’ for us. We read in 1 Peter 2:24, “Who (Christ) his own self BARE OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BODY on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Our sins were place ON Him, but not IN Him. We read in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” He was also made a CURSE for us by hanging on the cross of Calvary. We also read in Hebrews 9:28, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…”

Let’s compare this with the Lord’s dealings with Cain after he slew his brother, Abel. Genesis 4:6-7 tells us, “And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, SIN LIETH AT THE DOOR. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” What was this ‘sin’ that lay at Cain’s door? It was literally a ‘sin offering’, an animal that the Lord had provided so that Cain might offer it to the Lord as a proper offering.

It was Christ being made ‘sin’ for us that has caused us, through faith, to ‘become the righteousness of God in Him.’ We are not merely merely righteous, but we are made righteousness itself, and not merely righteousness, but the righteousness of God, because Christ is God, and what He is, so are we! We read in 1 John 4:17, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because AS HE IS, SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.” So, the righteous One who knew no sin became sin for us, so that we who knew no righteousness made be made the righteousness of God in Him. What a wonderful transformation! (311.2)