How about a little theology for your encouragement today? Yesterday, I finished working on a sermon that I’ll be preaching in a couple of weeks. Our church is studying through 2 Corinthians this summer and the sermon is from the end of chapter 5. There are several incredible truths in there but I want to stick with 5:21 for right now. “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
That’s a sentence out of the middle of a paragraph that is talking about the biblical doctrine of reconciliation. Murray Harris defines reconciliation as “the divine act by which, on the basis of the death of Christ, God’s holy displeasure against sinful man was appeased, the enmity between God and man was removed, and man was restored to proper relations with God. Reconciliation is not some polite ignoring or reduction of hostility but rather its total and objective removal.” It’s an amazing concept. The holy God of the universe, from whom I was estranged because of my sin, brought me back into a right relationship with Himself, not because He had anything to change or any need in Himself to do so but because of His grace. That’s the “what.” That’s what reconciliation accomplishes for me.
The word reconciliation is taken from the marketplace and was originally used of the exchanging of coins. That’s where 2 Corinthians 5:21 comes in. It’s the “how” of reconciliation. God treated Jesus AS IF He was a sinner by charging to His account the sins of everyone who would ever believe. Then, when I believe the gospel, God treats me AS IF I am completely righteous so I can have a relationship with Him. It’s an exchange. My sin was on the account of Jesus as He hung on the cross. Jesus’ righteousness is now on my account once I have trusted in His finished work of redemption. Jesus didn’t become a sinner…He took my sin into to His account and paid that debt so I wouldn’t have to (because I never could).
So there you go…what could be more encouraging than that? Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe because you owed a debt you couldn’t pay. If you’ve trusted in Christ and believed in the gospel message, you are right with God…because He wanted it that way.