It's been said that there is no biblical basis for the assumption that Jesus ever took on the sins of mankind, before, during or after his death. What is the biblical proof that Jesus did take on the sins of mankind?

There's been some really great answers here but I'm looking for some more firsthand proof, such as Matthew 5:17–18

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Here Matthew quotes Jesus. Jesus fulfills the mosaic laws which also includes the sacrificial laws. The one perfect sacrifice that would forgive the sins of mankind past, present and future.

  • You should be careful to distinguish between substitution (took away the sins of the world) and penal substitution (took on the sins of the world). Jul 8, 2018 at 21:16

9 Answers 9


I believe that this Bible verse confirms that Jesus took on the sins of mankind.

John 1:29 ESV

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!


Isaiah 53:6 ESV

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all"

John 3:16 ESV

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life

1 John 2:2 ESV

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world

I hope that's enough proof. This is one of the most-supported ideas in the Bible!


I feel that it is clearly explained in the following verse.

2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

  • I think this is the best answer because (with the exception of the Isaiah 53 quote) is the only quote which clearly answers the question. Mar 14, 2014 at 14:31
  • @Wikis, I do not agree. Paul was speaking to the Corinthian church in this letter. It is not abundantly clear in this verse that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind for all time. There have been better answers provided.
    – user10381
    Mar 14, 2014 at 16:37
  • @JonathanLandrum: interesting theory but Paul uses we, not you so it cannot be just the Corinthian church. Or did you have in mind another group, eg the early church only? Mar 14, 2014 at 17:07
  • @Wikis true, but what keeps this verse from being applicable to a select group only, à la Calvinism?
    – user10381
    Mar 14, 2014 at 17:20

Here I have not given any verses from Acts and epistles, for there are several explicit verses in Acts and epistles (especially Romans) clearly saying that Jesus died for our sins. All the verses below are from Gospels. The emphasis is mine so as to highlight the relevant sentences.

Matt. 9:11-13 When the Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this he said, “Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. Go and learn what this saying means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matt. 26:27 And after taking the cup and giving thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, 26:28 for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Matt. 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Luke 24:46-47 and said to them, “Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

John 1:29 On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 8:24 Thus I told you that you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.”

John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. So if the son sets you free, you will be really free.

John 3:15-17 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

John 10:11-14 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep, he runs away. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me – 10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.

John 11:49-52 Then one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is more to your advantage to have one man die for the people than for the whole nation to perish.” (Now he did not say this on his own, but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation, and not for the Jewish nation only, but to gather together into one the children of God who are scattered.)

John 15:13 No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends. 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

  • Hebrews 9:28 (KJV, King James Version):

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

  • Hebrews 9:28 (NRS, New Revised Standard):

". . . so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him."

  • 1 Peter 2:24 (KJV):

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we , being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

  • 1 Peter 2:24 (NRS):

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."

The Greek word for bear or bore is a transliterated word which can mean a number of things, including offer, offered, bore, led, led up, offering, take away, and taken up.

Here is how biblestudytools summarizes the meanings of bore or bear:

to carry or bring up, to lead up men to a higher place


to put upon the altar, to bring to the altar, to offer


to lift up one's self, to take upon one's self


to place on one's self anything as a load to be carried


to sustain, i.e. their punishment

In truth, the Bible could not be clearer that Jesus bore the sins of the world as He hung on the cross. Just as a lamb of old bore symbolically the sins of a single penitent or the entire nation of Israel, Jesus, the Lamb of God, literally bore away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

Furthermore, each detail about Jesus' crucifixion bears witness to the spiritual reality of what was taking place at Calvary, where the sins of humankind were imputed to Jesus, and where Jesus' righteousness was imputed to humankind. (We know of course that God does not impute that righteousness to a person who does not believe Jesus died for his or her sins. Nevertheless, the potential is there to receive that righteousness by receiving Christ as one's Lord and Savior.)

At Calvary there was

  • a preternatural darkness from noon until 3PM, as God hid, as it were, His face from His Son, the wrath-bearer, the atonement and expiation for sin

  • a preternatural earthquake, during which the burial tombs of many holy ones were opened and the dead were raised to life. The earthquake reminds us of creation's groaning in travail because of the curse of sin, but it also reminds us that creation will one day be set free from its slavery to corruption, and then enter the freedom of the glory of the children of God (see Romans 8:19-22).

  • a torrent of abuse heaped upon Jesus, by many of those who witnessed the travail of His soul, by the religious leaders who had condemned Jesus to death, by the soldiers who crucified Him, by the observers at the cross who witnessed His life and public ministry, and by the two thieves who were crucified next to Him (one of whom repented and was forgiven by Jesus)

  • an abandonment by ten of His closest disciples

Each of the above details of Jesus' death can be found in prophetic passages in the Old Testament (Tanakh), with Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 as outstanding examples.

In conclusion, I suggest you mediate on Isaiah 53:10-12, as should we all:

But the LORD was pleased

To crush Him, putting Him to grief;

If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

He will see His offspring,

He will prolong His days,

And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

As a result of the anguish of His soul,

He will see it and be satisfied;

By His knowledge the Righteous One,

My Servant , will justify the many,

As He will bear their iniquities.

Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,

And He will divide the booty with the strong;

Because He has poured out Himself to death,

And was numbered with the transgressors;

Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,

And interceded for the transgressors. (my emphasis)


I believe that these verses prove that Christ came to take away the sins of the world.

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5)

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:11)

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)

All of these verses come from the King James Bible.


There's a lot of assumptions going on here! Where the word of God says "our" it is just being assumed that "our" means everyone in the whole world. "Our" could mean the elect people of God, all who would sooner or later believe on Christ, but nobody else.

I grant that in some verses it is plainly states he died for the sins of the whole world. eg 1 John 2:2. All manner of sins can be forgiven if we repent and believe. If anyone would seek the Lord he can be saved.

But it can be argued Christ did not die for the literally everyone. "He came to save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21), his elect people, but nobody else. Anyone who will have Him can be saved, but those who die without faith, He did not die for them. What would have been the purpose? God so loved the world, etc. Yes, anyone who wants can be saved through Christ... but only the elect ever will truly want.

To put it another way... Christ suffered a fixed amount of suffering. Did he suffer more than he needed to? Did he suffer for people who would never believe and his Father knew would never believe? If you say he suffered for everyone then you are saying that his Father punished him more than he needed to. And would our Father have done that? Is it kind for God to punish him more than he knew he needed to? "All the Father gives me will come to me"... John 6:37, but nobody else. Those "chosen before the foundation of the world", they are the ones Christ died for.

The high priest "prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." John 11:51. So Jesus died for a particular group of people.

In his prayer in John 17 Jesus prayed "not for the world" "but for them which you have given me" John 17:9,20. Even now Christ is interceding for his elect, after having died for his elect (Romans 8:29-40).

Some will never believe because they were never Christ's sheep. Our Lord Jesus did not say "You are not my sheep because you do not believe"; he said "You do not believe because you are not my sheep" (John 10:26).

You don't have to be Calvinist to be one for whom Christ died, but you do have to be elect!

Should I then tell an unbeliever "Christ died for you"? Do you find "Christ died for you" being said to the lost anywhere in Scripture? Christ died for lost sinners in general, yes, but isn't it unwise to tell an unbeliever that Christ died for him in particular? It undermines the sovereign will of God. It persuades the sinner the ball is in his court, it takes him away from looking to God and pleading to God for mercy. It makes him think he can simply choose God. Almost its like this... tick a box and you are saved! But the ball is not in his court, salvation is from God and God must be pleaded to, grappled with, for mercy. "Christ died for you" makes God seem weak and helpless, hoping, waiting for the sinner to respond.

Christ was punished a fixed amount on the cross. If you are saved by Him by faith then some of that punishment he suffered was entirely because of you and nobody else. He literally paid for your sins. He suffered more on the cross because of you than he otherwise would have suffered.


I don't know why this hasn't been quoted but.

2 Cor 5:21 states it plainly. - "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

How did that happen? well because it's a divine exchange. That's why I correct people who use atonement and Jesus in the same sentence. It's not your sins covered, it's an exchanged life. In the spirit you are a new creation. A 3 part being where your spirit is absolutely perfect and just like Jesus.

  • It was quoted... > I feel that it is clearly explained in the following verse. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. share edit flag edited Mar 14 at 15:34 answered Mar 14 at 14:23 The Freemason Terence 825 19 51 1
    – rob
    Mar 23, 2014 at 5:14
  • @Rob I think adding that verse to this one is a great suggestion.
    – Andrew
    Aug 15, 2015 at 20:04
  • +1 Thanks for this concise Biblical response. I think you should add Rob's verse to make it a more compete and compelling answer. Also, it would be good to replace the first sentence with a strong thesis statement, like "Yes, Jesus took on the sins of mankind." Then support it with something like, "In 2 Cor 5:21, Paul states plainly that God had made him to be sin for us." You may want to include some context if necessary to characterize the citation. You may want to investigate if made here means created or caused in the language Paul wrote the thing, and report what you find.
    – Andrew
    Aug 15, 2015 at 20:11

Why was Jesus, who is God, baptized by John the Baptist?

When Jesus was baptised by means of "the laying on of hands" (Leviticus 16:21), it was "one Man's" righteous act (Romans 5:18), which took away all the sins of humankind. When Jesus was baptized, He said to John,

"Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness"(Matthew 3:15).

Here, "for thus" means by laying on of hands in order to pass all the sins of the world on to Jesus, so that all righteousness might be fulfilled for all of us. Jesus has fulfilled all righteousness for all people through His baptism in a just and fitting manner. Because Jesus took on all the sins of people through His baptism, the next day, John the Baptist testified

"Behold The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29)

With all the sins of humankind on His shoulders, Jesus walked towards the Cross. He vicariously took the judgement for all the sins He had taken on Himself through His baptism. He died on the Cross, saying, "It is finished" (John 19:30). He took all our sins onto Himself and received the complete judgement for them.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .