I just read a blog by a friend about Jesus’ death on the cross. In the course of his discussion he said, “Darkness covered the whole land at noon (Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44). For the next three hours Jesus was baring the sins of the world as a substitute for all of us.”
Notice the word baring. I looked it up. It can be an archaic form of the word bearing. However, in normal usage today it is from the verb bare and it means uncovering, exposing, or revealing.
As I got to thinking about it, my friend is on to something with his misspelling. At the cross Jesus was bearing and baring the sins of the world.
Jesus bore our sins in that He removed them as a barrier to our salvation. That is what John the Baptist said in John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Peter used the verb bear in relation to the cross: “[He] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…” (1 Pet 2:24).
Some think if it were true that Jesus bore the sins of the whole world that all would get into the kingdom. But that is incorrect. Christ made all savable. Bearing our sins is not the same as giving us everlasting life. (Nor is it the same as forgiving our sins, for we must believe to get positional forgiveness [Acts 10:43] and we as believers must confess our sins to get fellowship forgiveness [1 John 1:9].) By what Jesus did on the cross, our sins are no longer the issue. We do not need to somehow atone for our own sins. We simply need to believe in Jesus for the gift of everlasting life which He promises (John 5:39-40; 1 Tim 1:16).
But Jesus also bared the sins of the world. That is, at the cross He exposed the ugly sinfulness of man. Here were the Jewish people and the Roman government executing the only sinless Man who ever lived. They executed [i.e., took the physical life of] God in the flesh. Of course, the reason He went to the cross was to take our sins upon Himself. But as He did, the people at the cross mocked Him. They did not fall before Him in worship. Sinful men revealed their sinfulness in the abuse they heaped upon the Son of God in His mock trials, His scouring, His beatings, and in His treatment at the cross.
There can be no sin greater than crucifying the Lord of Glory. Yet Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Of course, no one could really take Jesus’ life. He willingly laid it down. And three days later He took it up again when He rose from the dead. His resurrection shows that the cross was a victory, not a failure. The cross really was Good Friday because Sunday gave us the empty tomb.
At the cross Jesus bore our sins. And He bared our sins.
Thank God He did.