By the Passion of the Cross the Lord did not Take Away Sins,
L 15. Some persons within the church believe that by the passion of the cross the Lord took away sins, and made satisfaction to the Father, and so effected Redemption; and some, that He transferred to Himself, bore, and cast into the depths of the sea (that is, into hell), the sins of those who have faith in Him. They confirm themselves in these notions by the words of John concerning Jesus:--
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29);
and by the Lord’s words in Isaiah:--
He hath borne our diseases, and carried our sorrows: He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His wound has health been given us. Jehovah hath made to fall on Him the iniquities of us all. He was oppressed (literally, He hath endured exaction), and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth He is led as a lamb to the slaughter. He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of My people, to whom the stroke was due, that He might deliver the wicked into their sepulchre, and the rich into their deaths; He shall see of the labor of His soul, and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall He justify many in that He hath borne their iniquities. He hath poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isa 53:4-12).
Both these passages speak of the Lord‘s temptations and passion; and by His taking away sins and diseases, and by the iniquities of all being made to fall on Him, is meant the like as by His bearing sorrows and iniquities.
 Therefore it shall first be stated what is meant by bearing iniquities, and afterwards what by taking them away. To bear iniquities means to endure grievous temptations; and also to suffer the Jews to treat Him as they had treated the Word, which they did because He was the Word. For the church as it then existed among the Jews was utterly devastated, and it was devastated by their having perverted all things of the Word, so that there was not any truth remaining; and therefore they did not acknowledge the Lord. This was meant and signified by all things of the Lord’s passion. The prophets were treated in a similar way, because they represented the Lord in respect to the Word, and derivatively in respect to the church, and the Lord was the Prophet.
 That the Lord was the Prophet is evident from the following passages:--
Jesus said, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house (Matt. 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24).
Jesus said, It cannot he that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem (Luke 13:33).
They said of Jesus, This is that prophet of Nazareth (Matt. 21:11; John 7:40).
Fear took hold on all; and they praised God, saying that a great prophet is risen up among us (Luke 7:16).
That a prophet should be raised up out of the midst of their brethren, whose words they shall obey (Deut. 18:15-19).
That the prophets underwent similar treatment, is evident from the things which follow.
 In order that he might represent the state of the church, the prophet Isaiah was commanded
To loose the sackcloth from off his loins, and to put off the shoe from his foot, and to walk naked and barefoot three years, for a sign and a wonder (Isa. 20:2, 3).
In order that he might represent the state of the church, the prophet Jeremiah was commanded
To buy for himself a girdle, and put it upon his loins, and not put it in water, and to hide it in a hole of the rock near the river Euphrates; and after many days he found it rotten (Jer. 13:1-7).
The same prophet represented the state of the church by
His not taking a wife in that place, nor entering into the house of mourning, neither going away to lament, nor entering into the house of feasting (Jer. 16:2, 5, 8).
 In order that he might represent the state of the church, the prophet Ezekiel was commanded
To cause a barber‘s razor to pass upon his head, and upon his beard, and afterwards to divide it, and to burn the third part of it in the midst of the city, to smite a third part with a sword, and to scatter a third part in the wind; and that he should bind a few hairs in his skirts, and at last cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them (Ezek. 5:1-4).
In order that he might represent the state of the church, the same prophet was commanded
To make vessels of wandering, and to wander to another place in the eyes of the sons of Israel, and to bring forth the vessels by day, and go forth in the evening through a hole dug in the wall, and cover his face so that he should not see the earth and that so he should be for a wonder to the house of Israel, and should say, I am your sign; like as I have done, so shall it be done unto you (Ezek. 12:3-7, 11).
 In order that he might represent the state of the church, the prophet Hosea was commanded
To take to himself a harlot for a wife and he took her, and she bare him three sons, one of whom he called "Jezreel;" the second, "That hath not obtained mercy;" and the third, "Not my people" (Hos. 1:2-9).
And again he was commanded
To go and love a woman beloved of her companion, and an adulteress, whom he also bought for fifteen pieces of silver (Hos. 3:1, 2).
 In order that he might represent the state of the church, the prophet Ezekiel was commanded
To take a tile, and engrave upon it Jerusalem, and to lay siege to it, and build a rampart and a mount against it, and to put an iron pan between himself and the city, and to lie on his left side three hundred and ninety days, and afterwards, on his right side, forty days. Also to take wheat, barley, lentils, millet, and spelt, and make bread thereof, which he should then eat by measure. And also that he should make for himself a barley cake with the dung of man and because he prayed that it might not be so, he was commanded to make it with cow’s dung (Ezek. 4:1-15).
The prophets represented other things besides; as, for instance, Zedekiah, by
The horns of iron that he made for himself (1 Kings 22:11).
And another prophet, by being
Smitten and wounded, and by putting ashes upon his eyes (1 Kings 20:35-38).
 In general, the prophets represented the Word in its ultimate sense, which is the sense of the letter, by a garment of hair (Zech. 13:4); and therefore Elijah
Was clad in such a coat, and was girt about his loins with a leathern girdle (2 Kings 1:8);
and in like manner John the Baptist,
Who had his raiment of camel‘s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins, and ate locust and wild honey (Matt. 3:4).
From these things it is evident that the prophets represented the state of the church, and also the Word; for he who represents the one represents the other, because the church is from the Word, and is according to the reception of it in life and faith. Therefore prophets, wherever mentioned in both Testaments, signify the doctrine of the church from the Word; and by the Lord, as the Grand Prophet, is signified the church itself, and the Word itself.
L 16. The state of the church from the Word thus represented in the Prophets, is what is meant by bearing the iniquities and sins of the people. That such is the case is evident from the things said of Isaiah the prophet:--
That he went naked and barefoot three years, for a sign and a wonder (Isa. 20:3).
Of the prophet Ezekiel:--
That he brought forth vessels of wandering, and covered his face so that he should not see the earth, and that so he was for a portent to the house of Israel, and also said, I am your portent (Ezek. 12:6, 11).
 That this was for them to bear iniquities, is plainly evident in Ezekiel, where that prophet is commanded to lie three hundred and ninety, and forty, days, upon his left side and upon his right, against Jerusalem, and to eat a barley cake made with cow’s dung: As we read:--
Lie thou upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it, thou shalt hear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days, that thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, thou shalt lie upon thy right side, so that thou bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days (Ezek. 4:4-6).
 That by his having thus borne the iniquities of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, the prophet did not take them away, and thus expiate them, but only represented and showed them, is evident from what there follows:--
Thus saith Jehovah, The sons of Israel shall eat their unclean bread among the nations whither I will drive them. Behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, that they may lack bread and water, and be desolate a man and his brother, and consume away for their iniquity (Ezekiel 4:13, 16, 17).
 So when the same prophet showed himself, and said,
Behold, I am your portent, it is added, as I have done, so shall it be done unto them (Ezek. 12:6, 11).
The meaning is therefore the same where it is said of the Lord:--
He hath borne our diseases, and carried our sorrows Jehovah hath made to light on Him the iniquities of us all by His knowledge hath He justified many, in that He hath borne their iniquities (Isa. 53:4, 6, 11);
where, in this whole chapter, the Lord‘s passion is treated of.
 That the Lord Himself, as the Grand Prophet, represented the state of the church in respect to the Word, is evident from all things of His passion; as that He was betrayed by Judas; that He was taken and condemned by the chief priests and elders; that they buffeted Him; that they smote Him on the head with a reed; that they put on Him a crown of thorns; that they divided His garments, and cast lots for His under vesture; that they crucified Him; that they gave Him vinegar to drink; that they pierced His side; that He was buried; and that He rose again the third day.
 That He was betrayed by Judas, signified that He was betrayed by the Jewish nation, among whom at that time was the Word, for Judas represented that nation. That He was taken and condemned by the chief priests and elders, signified that He was so treated by the whole Jewish Church. That they scourged Him, spat in His face, buffeted Him, and smote Him on the head with a reed, signified that they had done the like to the Word in respect to its Divine truths, all of which treat of the Lord. That they put on Him a crown of thorns, signified that they had falsified and adulterated those truths. That they divided His garments, and cast lots for His under-vesture, signified that they had dispersed all the truths of the Word, but not its spiritual sense, which His under-vesture signified. That they crucified Him, signified that they had destroyed and profaned the whole Word. That they offered Him vinegar to drink, signified that everything had become falsified and false; and therefore He did not drink it, and then said, It is finished. That they pierced His side, signified that they had completely extinguished all the truth of the Word, and all its good. That He was buried, signified the rejection of the residue of the maternal human. That He rose again the third day, signified His glorification.
 Similar things are signified by these things as foretold in the Prophets and in David. And it was for the same reason that, after He had been scourged and brought out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe put on Him by the soldiers, He said, Behold the Man! (John 19:1, 5). This He said because by "man (hominem)" is signified the church; for by "Son of man" is signified the truth of the church, thus the Word. It is evident then from these things, that to bear iniquities means to represent and effigy in one’s self sins against the Divine truths of the Word. That the Lord endured and suffered such things as the Son of man, and not as the Son of God, will be seen in what follows; for "the Son of man" signifies the Lord in respect to the Word.
L 17. Something shall now be said of what is meant by taking away sins. To take away sins means the same as to redeem man, and to save him; for the Lord came into the world to render salvation possible to man. Without His advent no mortal could have been reformed and regenerated, and so saved. But this became possible after the Lord had deprived the devil (that is, hell) of all his power; and had glorified His Human, that is, had united it to the Divine of His Father. If these things had not been done, no man would have been capable of permanently receiving any Divine truth, still less any Divine good; for the devil, whose power was previously the stronger, would have plucked it out of his heart.
 From what has been said it is evident that the Lord did not take away sins by the passion of the cross; but that He takes them away, that is, removes them, in those who believe in Him by living according to His commandments; as He also teaches in Matthew:--
Think not that I am come to loosen the law and the prophets. Whosoever shall loosen the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called the least in the kingdom of the heavens; but whosoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the kingdom of the heavens (Matthew 5:17, 19).
 Who cannot see from reason alone, provided he is in some enlightenment, that sins cannot be taken away from a man except by actual repentance, which consists in his seeing his sins, imploring the Lord‘s help, and desisting from them? To see, believe, and teach otherwise, is not from the Word, nor from sound reason, but from cupidity and a depraved will, which are proper to man, and from this comes the debasement of his intelligence.