For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Have you ever been accused of something that you didn't do? It could have been at work that you were accused of wasting time when you knew that you were focused on completing assigned tasks. It could have been that someone else ate the last slice of pizza in the fridge, and then a hungry family member blamed you. It could have been that your spouse took a look at credit card charges for the month and accused you of making a purchase that you didn't make. It always hurts to be held responsible for something that you didn't do.
With that in mind, imagine Jesus. He lived a sinless and perfect life. He never did anything that went against God's standards in the Bible. He was blameless. In His perfection, He took on our sin and punishment, making Himself the point of accusation for every wrong thing we have ever done. He willingly took on the consequences for our bad behavior so we could be made right. That is astounding, isn't it? That should floor us as we take in the weight of what Jesus did on the cross. Not only did Jesus forgive us of all the wrong things that we have ever done, but He clothed us with His holiness, so when God looks at us He doesn't see our sin, but He sees the sacrifice Jesus made.
We have to look to the cross with gratitude for what Jesus did. When we daily take into account the sacrifice that He made, it covers and protects our hearts from the evil one. This is why Paul called it a breastplate of righteousness because he knew that the secret to protecting our hearts was through acknowledging what Jesus did on the cross every day. The appreciation that we get from considering His sacrifice reorients the way that we live. Instead of chasing things that please ourselves or provide an escape of pain, we live for an audience of one. He gave the ultimate sacrifice and now we gladly give our own life in return.
In light of the sacrifice that Jesus gave for you, what is one thing that you can do in gratitude for Him? Pick something to do and journal some ways that you can show your appreciation for the fact that Jesus became sin for us even though He was blameless. It may be as simple as walking across the street and telling a friend about how Jesus changed your life.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 (NLT)
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
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