World Wide Study Bible
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28so 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.
28. The second time without sin, etc. The Apostle urges this one thing, — that we ought not to be disquieted by vain and impure longings for new kinds of expiations, for the death of Christ is abundantly sufficient for us. Hence he says, that he once appeared and made a sacrifice to abolish sins, and that at his second coming he will make openly manifest the efficacy of his death, so that sin will have no more power to hurt us. 160160 “Was once offered,” προσενεχθεὶς, — Grotius regarded this participle as having a reflective sense, “having once for all offered up himself;” and so does Stuart. The first aorist passive has often this sense. “By whom was he offered?” asks Theophylact; he answers, “by himself, he being a high priest.” This amounts to the same thing. — Ed
To bear, or, take away sins, is to free from guilt by his satisfaction those who have sinned. He says the sins of many, that is, of all, as in Romans 5:15. It is yet certain that all receive no benefit from the death of Christ; but this happens, because their unbelief prevents them. At the same time this question is not to be discussed here, for the Apostle is not speaking of the few or of the many to whom the death of Christ may be available; but he simply means that he died for others and not for himself; and therefore he opposes many to one. 161161 “We are told that οἱ πολλοὶ is often equivalent to πάντες. It is not however quite certain that the Apostle here meant to express πάντων; the verse concludes with the mention of those who ‘wait for him’ i.e., who wait for Christ’s second coming in humble hope of receiving their reward; and these manifestly are not the whole human race.” — Bp. Middleton, quoted by Bloomfield. — Ed
But what does he mean by saying that Christ will appear without sin? Some say, without a propitiation or an expiatory sacrifice for sin, as the word sin is taken in Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians
5:21; and in many places in the writings of Moses; but in my judgment he intended to express something more suitable to his present purpose, namely, that Christ at his coming will make it known how truly and really he had taken away sins, so that there would be no need of any other sacrifice to pacify God; as though he had said, “When we come to the tribunal of Christ, we shall find that there was nothing wanting in his death.”
Schleusner and Stuart consider “without sin” to mean “without sin-offering” without any sacrifice for sin. Doddridge and Scott take its meaning to be “without being in the likeness of sinful flesh,” or, without that humiliating form in which he atoned for sin. Some have said, “without sin” being imputed to him. The construction which the passage seems to afford is this, “without bearing sin.” The previous clause is that, to bear or to suffer for,
he having made the first time a full and complete expiation.
To “bear sins,” is not, as some say, to take them away, in allusion to the scape goat, but to endure the punishment due to them, to make an atonement for them. See 1 Peter 2:24; where the same word to “bear,” in connection with “sins,” is used; and where it clearly means to bear the penalty of sin; the end of the verse is, “with whose stripes we are healed.” — Ed.
And to the same effect is what he immediately adds, unto salvation to them who look, or wait for him. Others render the sentence differently, “To them who look for him unto salvation;” But the other meaning is the most appropriate; for he means that those shall find complete salvation who recumb with quiet minds on the death of Christ; for this looking for or wanting has a reference to the subject discussed. The Scripture indeed does elsewhere ascribe this in common to believers, that they look for the coming of the Lord, in order to distinguish them from the ungodly, by whom his coming is dreaded, (1 Thessalonians 1:10;) but as the Apostle now contends that we ought to acquiesce in the one true sacrifice of Christ, he calls it the looking for Christ, when we are satisfied with his redemption alone, and seek no other remedies or helps. 163163 Most commentators adopt the same view, as conveyed in our version, connecting “salvation” with appearing, such as Beza, Grotius, Doddridge, Scott and Stuart. — Ed.