October 26th, 2022 – Wednesday Early Afternoon
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” ~2 Corinthians 5:21
The miracle of the love of God for sinners and the evidence of it (the death and resurrection of Christ) should never fail to inhabit the minds of believers. That God would send His own and only Son to righteously take the place of atonement on behalf of the wretched sin of mankind is not only astounding, but overwhelming. Christ’s righteousness was transferred to us while our sin was transferred onto Christ; His death completely fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law, and God’s judgment was given to Him instead of us.
Yet, this verse seems to speak to a deeper level of righteousness than just a surface transfer of it from Jesus to us. Remember the context surrounding this verse…Paul & Timothy (well, God though them) were reminding the Corinthians of the reality of the situation in light of Christ’s death and resurrection: Instead of living for themselves, they were living for “Him who died for them and rose again”; instead of looking at things from a human or fleshly perspective, they were viewing everything and everyone through spiritual eyes; and, instead of living a life that was distanced from God and caught in the old ways of sin and death, they were now new creations who were to be reconciled to God.
Here in this verse, then, a wider viewpoint seems to be in mind: It is not just that Christ’s righteousness covers us or has been transferred onto us like a new set of clothes – no, this passage seems to indicate that just as Jesus literally took on the sin (and the consequences of it) of the world and bore the wrath of God, so we (in Christ) have literally taken on the righteousness (and the practical ramifications of it) of God. It is not just a surface or external righteous standing before God that we have gained in Christ, but an entirely new existence that has its source in God Himself; we are (and are to be) the righteousness of God in Christ in the moment-by-moment lives that He has entrusted to us.
Questions: Is your faith in Jesus skin deep? Have you claimed an identity in Him that is in reality empty of power and freedom? Or are you embracing, choosing, and rejoicing in a righteous (acceptable or approved in the eyes of God) life by the power and grace of God?
My beloved brethren, the good news (gospel) of Jesus Christ is an all-encompassing message of totality – total love, total commitment, total grace, total change. Let us not excuse ourselves from our identity as the righteousness of God in Christ; to do so would be to rob ourselves of God’s grace and to withhold from Him the glory due His name. Rather, let us press on – keeping our eyes on Jesus – saying no to sin and death and yes to righteousness, sanctification, and eternal life (Romans 6). Let us take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and allow our Father’s work and will to be done in and through us by His grace and the power of His Spirit.