In what sense, if any, did our Lord confess His people

In what sense, if any, did our Lord confess His people’s sins? Is Psalm 69:5 distinctly applicable to Him? How are we to understand the phrase, “He was made sin for us”? (2 Corinthians 5:21).

These questions open out very important points which are spoken of very loosely to-day and which need careful handling. As for the first, I believe it to be far from scriptural to assert any such thing. Hymn- writers have said so, and the saints have allowed themselves at their bidding, to sing wrong doctrine. I have long shrunk from singing the words of J. G. Deck’s, otherwise beautiful hymn,

“Our sins, our guilt, in love divine
Confessed and borne by Thee.”

To confess sins makes them our own, and that the Lord never did. Is it necessary or proper for one paying a debt for a friend, to confess that he incurred it himself? It would be untrue and quite gratuitous and would detract from the favour. The words in question, might be altered to some such phrase as, “All known and borne by Thee.” Our Lord Jesus was always the sinless One, and He suffered vicariously for our sins; but they were always ours, not His “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2: 24). There was always a vast distinction between the Saviour and the sinner, He became surety for sin, but never identical with the sinner. As for applying Psalm 69. to our Lord—”O God, Thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins (Heb. guiltiness) are not hid from Thee”—it is, I believe, most improper to do so. We must remember that even the Messianic Psalms represent to a certain degree the experience of the writer, but go beyond this to any godly ones, brought low before God, on account of their sins, especially the faithful remnant of the last days. Bearing this in mind, there is much of the Psalm which can be applied to Christ. But it is exceedingly dangerous, in my judgment, to attempt to apply all to Him. Fancy applying such words as above to “Christ the Wisdom of God” and “the Holy One of God”
As for 2 Corinthians 5:21 we can perhaps best see its meaning by negatives, it cannot mean that our Lord became personally that abominable thing called sin. But even had such a thing been possible, it would not have helped us in any way; clearly the Lord was made sin, in such a way as to affect us and cause us to become the righteousness of God in Him. There was only one way to effect this, namely, to take our place, or in other words, be treated as we deserved as an offering for sin. Thus He atoned for sin on the cross, and became our righteousness on resurrection ground.

W.H.