God sent his Son who knew no sin and saw that he will die (because the penalty for sin is death) so that he can atone – a substitutionary death of a sinless perfect Son of God so that every sin that we ever committed will be laid on him. He took our sins away. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. What is iniquity? Guilt. But not only guilt but the consequences, the penalty for guilt, the presence of guilt. The Hebrew word for iniquity is ‘ah-von’ which simply means to turn away from the light, from the revealed will of God. It means to turn away from the light of God’s word, to turn away from the will of God to do your own will. It takes turning away to say I will do it my own way.

Isa. 53:3-5, “He is 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 esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem 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 with his stripes we are healed.”

Different dimensions of sin                                                          

Iniquity is turning away from the revealed will of God. Transgression is over stepping bounds. Psa. 19:12-14 says, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Presumption goes before transgression. I studied the book of Numbers recently and I couldn’t help but shudder at how the children of Israel made the man of God, Moses, to sin. God told Moses to speak to the rod but instead he struck the rock because he was so used to the rod. He therefore committed a transgression, he was presumptuous. We must be very careful of becoming too familiar with God. Presumption goes before transgression.

Sin comes from the Greek word, ‘hamartia’ that is why the study of sin is called hamartiology. ‘Hamartia’ means to miss the mark. What is the mark? God puts a mark in a place and you put it elsewhere. Whether it is transgression or sin, the beginning of every sin is actually iniquity. This is because until you turn away from the light, you will not transgress, you will not exceed bounds. But every turning away is rebellion that is why God punishes sin. Moses was so close to God despite that God punished him. We are blessed because we can carry all our transgressions to the cross. A lot of exchanges took place in this scripture – Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. He was punished for our iniquity so that we might be forgiven. When Jesus hung on the cross, God visited on him the guilt of humanity that good may come to all of us.


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