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Yahweh Our Sin-Bearer

More Prophetic Hints of the Messiah’s Deity

The Hebrew Bible describes God as bearing the sins of his people:

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, BEARING iniquity and transgression and sin (nose’ awon wapesha wahatta’ah), and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7

“And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, BEARING iniquity and transgression (nose’ awon wapasha), and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” Numbers 14:17-18

“Blessed is he whose transgression is lifted up (nasui), whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile… I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou BEAREST (nasata) the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” Psalm 32:1-2, 5

“Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou bearest/hast borne (nasata) the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.” Psalm 85:1-2

“Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that bearest (El nose’) them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.” Psalm 99:8

“Who is a God like You, bearing (nose’) iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not remain angry forever, because He delights in benevolence. He will again have compassion upon us. He will tread down our iniquities, and cast all of our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19 Modern English (MEV)

The Hebrew words nose’ and nasa can mean to lift up, to carry, to bear, to bear away, to convey, to remove to a distance, to forgive. Note, for example, how nasa is used in Leviticus 16:22, which is the chapter dealing with the “Day of Atonement” (Yom Kipporim), the day that the high priest would make atonement for the entire nation of Israel:

“The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness.”

Nasa is also employed in respect to the Servant spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, the One appointed to give his life up as a guilt offering in order to atone for the sins of the world:

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before Him as a tender plant and as a root out of a dry ground. He has no form or majesty that we should look upon him nor appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we did not esteem him. Surely he has borne (nasa) our grief and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was struck. His grave was assigned with the wicked, yet with the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; He has put him to grief. If he made himself as an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days, and the good pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the anguish of his soul and be satisfied. By his knowledge My righteous servant shall justify the many, for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death, and he was numbered with the transgressors, thus he bore (nasa) the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:1-12 MEV

What makes this particular Servant a rather remarkable individual is that he does what Isaiah says only Yahweh God is capable of doing. For instance, only Yahweh is able to declare or make sinners righteous and save the entire inhabited earth:

“Declare and set forth your case; let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient times? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no God besides Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is no other besides Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. Surely, one shall say, ‘ONLY in the LORD are righteousness and strength.’ Men shall come to him, and all who are incensed at Him shall be ashamed. In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory.” Isaiah 45:21-25 MEV

This is because there is no one worthy or good enough to intercede or save mankind from their sins. As such, Yahweh was left with no other choice but to personally justify and redeem sinners by his own righteous Arm:

“Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was NO MAN and was astonished that there was NO INTERCESSOR; therefore, HIS OWN ARM brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay: fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands He will make recompense.” Isaiah 59:15b-18

“‘Who is this who comes from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah? This one who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?’ ‘It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ ‘Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like him who treads in the wine vat?’ ‘I have trodden the winepress ALONE; and from the peoples there was NO ONE with Me. For I will tread them in My anger, and trample them in My fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and My year of redemption has come. I looked and there was NO ONE to help, and I was astonished, and there was NO ONE to uphold; therefore, MY OWN ARM brought salvation to Me; and My fury upheld Me. I will tread down the peoples in My anger and make them drunk in My fury, and I will pour out their lifeblood on the earth.’” Isaiah 63:1-6 MEV

This means that Yahweh’s Servant is no mere creature, but must be essentially one with God, which is why he is able to bear the sins of the nations and accomplish the salvation of the whole world. This is further confirmed by the fact that Isaiah describes the exaltation of the Servant,

“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.” Isaiah 52:13-15 New International Version (NIV)

In the same exact language that the prophet uses elsewhere to depict Yahweh’s exalted status over the entire creation,

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. One cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ The posts of the door moved at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.’” Isaiah 6:1-5

“For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15 MEV – cf. 33:5, 10

Which is a position that the true God does not share with anyone:

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD ALONE shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of Hosts shall be upon everything that is proud and lofty, and upon everything that is lifted up, and it shall be brought low; and it will be upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon all the high towers, and upon every fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant sloops. The loftiness of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the LORD ALONE will be exalted in that day;” Isaiah 2:11-17 MEV

“Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—that you ALONE are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18 NIV

“Who is like the LORD our God, who dwells on high, who looks down on the things that are in heaven and on the earth?” Psalm 113:5-6 MEV

It’s now beginning to make sense. The Servant is Yahweh God incarnate, the God who became man for the express purpose of bearing the sins of the world by offering his human soul/life as a vicarious sacrifice.

And according to the inspired Christian Scriptures, that God-Man is none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth, being the eternal Son and Word of the Father who became flesh, so as to die a horrendously painful and shameful death on the cross in order to bear the transgressions of the world:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people… The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him… And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’)… No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” John 1:1-4, 9-10, 14, 18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who bears (airon) the sin of the world.’” John 1:29

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell, and to reconcile all things to Himself by Him, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him, I say—whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven” Colossians 1:13-20 MEV

“At the same time we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great God and savior Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us in order to rescue us from every kind of lawless behavior, and cleanse a special people for himself who are eager to do good actions.” Common English Bible (CEB)

“Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’… But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’ And, ‘In the beginning, Lord [the Son], you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end.’” Hebrews 1:1-3, 6, 8-12

“so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to save those who eagerly wait for Him.” Hebrews 9:28 MEV

“For to this you were called, because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘He committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.’ When He was reviled, He did not revile back; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but He entrusted Himself to Him who judges righteously. He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. ‘By His wounds you were healed.’ For you were as sheep going astray, but now have been returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25 MEV

“And ye know that he was manifested to bear (are’) sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5

In other words, Jesus is Yahweh God who became our sin bearer!

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