The Good News is not that God made some external determination to forgive man, superficially exercised his divine will, waved a disinterested wand and sprinkled some salvation dust across the human race. What he did was penetrate the very depths of humanity’s being and life, to restore the distorted and corrupt condition of man’s actual human existence. In his innermost being as the Son he genuinely united himself to human, finite, creaturely existence. We call that the incarnation.
God himself bore our infirmities and sins and the whole inheritance of judgment that lay against us—God himself, not merely in some extrinsic, detached way. He personally bore all of this.
Incidentally, it is important to not evade this point by denying that Jesus assumed our fallen, mortal human nature. The Greek culture where the Gospel was preached held to the apathy or passionlessness of the divine nature. In order to avoid the revolutionary doctrine of God presented in the Scriptures, the heresy of aphthartodocetism was invented. The error here is to say that Jesus took to himself a flawless human nature, one that was not affected by the curse. God himself didn’t really suffer, he only appeared to do so. Jesus’ mind and body were not subject to sickness, weakness, and the liabilities of our mortal existence. That, of course, frees God from any contact with the yuckiness of mortal human existence as we experience it.
Read the rest: Jeff Meyers: The Heresy with the Really Cool Name.