I’m taking a few posts to talk about what happened on the cross. We usually emphasize the resurrection, but in the cross there was an incredible release of power. In my last post I talked about the curse of the cross.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
To say that we were sinners is a huge understatement. The word sin, itself, covers a lot of ground. It simply means to miss the mark. There are many types of sin that we fall into. But it says in this verse that the piercing that Christ received was specifically for our transgressions.
What are transgressions? A transgression is the sin of breaking covenant with God. Through the Bible the only ones who could be guilty of this was Israel. Again and again they transgressed the covenant. If we are going to understand the cross, then we must look at the covenant involved.
Abraham was the first person in history to cut a personal covenant with God, Himself. As a matter of fact, the word covenant is thrown around a lot in Christian circles and we’ve missed its importance.
Up until the time of Abraham, all of the covenants of God dealt with the entire human race. These included the covenants with Adam and Noah. But when God approached Abraham, the covenant became personal.
God’s words to Abraham were, in effect, “If you accept my covenant, then your family will become mine.” This placed the Hebrew people under the direct influence of God. He was now responsible to direct, protect, bless, and provide for them. It was an incredible event that took place when Abraham trusted God for all of this.
But what happened after that? Many teach that when Moses came along, another covenant was instituted. They say that the covenant of the law was now in effect. Nothing could be further from the truth. Listen to how Paul, an expert in the law, describes it.
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
According to Paul, the law was added. This is an important truth for us to grasp. The Law of Moses was not a new covenant with the children of Israel. It was an addendum to the existing covenant that was made with their father, Abraham.
Why did they need this addition? Again, Paul is clear in his explanation. It was because of transgressions. Over and over again, Abraham’s descendants kept breaking the terms of the covenant.
Abraham’s relationship with God was based on love. He loved and obeyed God. He did everything God asked of him, not out of a sense of obligation, but of trust and friendship.
In the Law, God put in writing the things that Abraham did out of his love for God. So the Law was simply a way for God to remind the Israelites of the cost of being in covenant with God. It also showed them how impossible it was for them to live up to it.
Question: Why did Christ need to bear our transgressions?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014