Observe here, 1. The spotless innocency of our Lord Jesus Christ, as mediator, declared: He knew no sin; that is, practically and experimentally, he knew it not so as to commit it in the least degree; he was a pure, innocent, and sinless, Person: but theoretically and speculatively he did know sin. He well understood its nature, its effects, and fruits: none knew the bitter fruits of sin so well as our blessed Saviour.
Observe, 2. God's ordination of Christ with reference unto sin, He hath made him to be sin; not made him a sinner, but a sin-offering, a sacrifice for sin. Made; that is, ordained a sacrifice to expiate sin, and to bear the punishment due to sinners.
Observe, 3. The end of this ordination with respect to us, That we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Here note, The righteousness of the Mediator is called the righteousness of God; because,
1. It was the righteousness of that Person who was God.
2. Because the only wise God found out and appointed it.
And, 3. Because it is accepted by God; and the penitent believer, for the sake of it, looked upon as righteous and justified.
Learn hence, 1. That sin must have a sacrifice. He hath made him to be sin; that is, a sin-offering, or a sacrifice to expiate sin. Under the law the sacrifice was called sin, because the sin of the person was laid upon the sacrifice; there was a sort of a translation of the sin from the sinner to the sacrifice.
Learn, 2. That Jesus Christ was made a sacrifice for our sin. Our guilt was imputed to him, and our punishment was borne by him; which made Luther call Christ "the greatest sinner in the world;" not that he had any sin in his nature, or in his life, but because the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Learn, 3. That Jesus Christ being made sin for us, is the meritorious cause and means of our being made the righteousness of God in him. Surely God may be as just in pardoning us, who have no righteousness of our own, as in condemning his own Son, who had no sin of his own.
Have we broken his royal and righteous law? yet Christ has kept it and fulfilled all righteousness, Have we sinned against mercy? yet Christ has suffered without mercy: and all this by the ordination and appointment of God the Father, who made his own and only Son to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.