The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16
The first application is a literal–we are responsible for the messes we make and we cannot position our sinful burdens on our relatives. Nor can we take the sinful load off someone else’s shoulders. Individuals are, and always will be accountable towards their own transgressions. I suspect that most would agree with that view. But I submit to you that there is a spiritual truth being established [here] that is far greater than the obvious literalism and that bursts with significance eternal—the verse destroys false doctrines regarding our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What the Naysayers Say
The naysayers believe they are on to something when they read Deuteronomy 24:16.
“Isn’t it true that God the ‘Father’ sent His ‘Son’ to die for our sins?” they announce, believing they have stumbled upon a biblical contradiction, “God broke His own rules!”
They stumbled all right–directly into the Divine veracity of our Lord. God has not violated His own mandate, for to do so would make Him a liar. What the naysayer has stumbled onto is the dual reality of the passage.
…In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began… Titus 1:2
The twofold reality is that Jesus died for our sins ~and~ He is not a created being; therefore there is no violation of the Father’s directive. The Deuteronomy 24:16 mandate applies to created beings. Simultaneously, it points to what Jesus would ultimately do on the cross, completely demonstrating that in light of God’s decree, no created being could ever have accomplished the feat. Our Savior was not fashioned (as angels are) and, although He was born of a woman, He remains the only man without a birthday, for Jesus always was.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 2, 14
The truth of the matter is that when the Father sent His Son to die for our sin, He actually sent Himself. I know for some the notion of Jesus and God being one-and-the-same is difficult to grasp, but the truth of His Word cannot be denied. If John’s Gospel and description of Jesus’ deity is too abstract, then consider the words of the Prophet Isaiah who clearly declares Christ’s Oneness with the Father.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
To deny scripture; to proclaim it erroneous; to maintain that Jesus is not God and that He was created, is to call God a liar. To randomly edit or revise His Word is for all intents and purposes to proclaim deity unto your self. Don’t do that. Take God at His word—He loves you and He cannot lie.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
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