“Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18
The Substitute was of complex nature. He was truly man, and yet He was truly God. Christ Jesus who “suffered” in the room, place, and stead of God’s chosen people, was man, man of the substance of His mother, most surely man. He partook of all the weakness of humanity, and was in all respects, sin only excepted, tempted as we are; yea, He became “bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.” He was the perfect man, the only man in whom there never dwelt sin. There was no sin in His nature. No taint of original depravity ran in His veins. In His human nature He was “without spot or blemish.” Conceived in a miraculous manner, He partook not, in any degree, of that transgression which is transmitted to us; for we are born in sin, and shapen in iniquity.
Christ did not receive any of that imputed sin which has fallen upon the race from Adam. Christ never fell in Adam. He was “the seed of the woman”, but He never lay in the loins of Adam. As a private person, Christ never fell; by nature, He was not in any sense a participator or partaker in Adam’s sin. Though, on the part of His people, Jesus took upon himself Adam’s transgression, and bore it right away, He himself was, in His original, without the shadow of a spot, the immaculate, the perfect Lamb of God’s passover.
The life of the man Christ Jesus was in every respect blameless. From His eye no fire of unhallowed anger ever flashed. On His lips the word of deceit never rested. His pure mind never knew an imagination of sin. Satan’s sparks fell on Christ’s soul like fire dropping into the ocean, and were quenched for ever. Hell’s quiver of temptations was emptied upon Him, but no single arrow ever stuck in His flesh and blood. He stood invincible and invulnerable. He could not be wounded by temptation. “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me,” was His own triumphant declaration. “He knew no sin.” He had no acquaintance with sin, He was a stranger to sin, sin had no commerce with Him, He had no dealings with sin personally. His head turned not dizzy when upon the pinnacle of the temple. When down in the depths of humiliation, no grief found expression void of completest resignation. He was ever pure, perfect, spotless, holy, acceptable unto God.
Excerpt from “Our Suffering Substitute” sermon delivered in 1859