“The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity. (Ezekiel 18:20)
The punishment for sin is death.
Some people point to this verse as proof that Jesus did not and cannot die for our sins.
But wait. Is this verse referring to Jesus Christ?
Did Jesus Christ die for His Father’s sins? Did Jesus Christ die for His son’s sins? Nonsense. This verse does not apply to Jesus Christ at all!
Who is this verse in reference to? It applies to YOU and ME! This verse is simply saying the truth that you and I cannot die for one another or anyone else because we ourselves are guilty of our own sins. We are to bear our own punishment and die for our own sins!
An illustration to understand this clearly:
Imagine that a father and son are sentenced to hang for a crime they committed. Can the son say to the judge, “I will take my father’s sentence and die for him. Let him go.”
Does the judge say, “Oh OK. Since you’re bearing your father’s punishment, then he’s free to go”? Of course not.
Rather the judge will say, “Sorry, you are going to be hanged for your own crime. And your father will be hanged for his own crime.”
You cannot bear someone else’s punishment. That applies to every human being because WE ARE ALL SINNERS.
The point is only someone who is sinless and perfect could possibly take our punishment, because he would not need to die for his own sins.
Is there any human being in history who is completely sinless? Everyone born from Adam has his blood and the same ability to sin that Adam had.
That is why someone who can be a savior from sin has to be born outside of the natural human line. If he is born from a man and a woman, like everyone else, he will carry that same corrupted sin nature and will fall into sin just like every one has since Adam.
The only way would be if someone could be born miraculously, not in the natural way, in a way that would bypass human intervention. Like through a virgin, for example. This person would not inherit the tainted blood of Adam like all human beings. He would not have a corrupted sin nature like you and I and he would be perfectly sinless.
Only such a one, could bear our punishment of sin and save us from death.
But this is nonsense, isn’t it? How can a virgin give birth? Do you know anyone who was born of a virgin in all of earth’s history? If you do, only that person can be your savior!
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (meaning’ God with us’).” Isaiah 7:14