2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished.[old identity] Behold, everything is fresh and new.[new identity] 18 And God has made all things new, and reconciled[friendship with God] us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God. 19 In other words, it was through the Anointed One that God was shepherding the world, not even keeping records of their transgressions, and he has entrusted to us the ministry of opening the door of reconciliation to God.[for others to enter] 20 We are ambassadors of the Anointed One who carry the message of Christ to the world, as though God were tenderly pleading with them directly through our lips. So we tenderly plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Turn back to God and be reconciled to him.” 21 For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us, so that we who did not know righteousness might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.[God provided a divine exchange]
I have always enjoyed taking an old discarded piece of furniture and seeing how I might transform it. We have many pieces in our home that have been rejuvenated—given a fresh look. The furniture might still have the exterior lines of the original, but the fresh paint and hardware changes the outward appearance. These are old pieces that now simply look new.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul makes us think about who we are in Christ. When we invite Christ into our lives he does not simply rejuvenate us on the outside—like I have done to these pieces of furniture. Christ actually makes us a brand new person inside by taking our sin (past, present, future) upon himself, imparting his righteousness to us, giving us new desires to obey God’s commands of love, while leaving us innocent and whole before the Father. Believers have been reconciled with God! This is such a merciful and miraculous gift, because one day God’s Word will judge this world, as well as human sin and the penalty will be death. Now, with this new life and power for righteousness, we can choose to live for the pleasure of God; to live in eternal peace with God. Don’t fear the future or God’s judgement; prepare your heart by being reconciled to God in Christ. After you have made the wisest decision of your life, go out and celebrate your new life in Christ by living in such a way that others want to be reconciled with God, too. Share the Truth of God’s amazing love!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for reconciling me to the Father by exchanging my sin for your righteousness. I so need you, Lord! Help me each day to live as a grateful daughter by living to please you. As well, help me to reach beyond myself so others might choose to be reconciled to you, as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.