2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
Perhaps there is no greater joy in life than when we forget about ourselves. When, in the companionship of those who we love, we share an experience that transcends ourselves – even if it is just for a split moment.
Alas, the reverse is perhaps just as true. When those relationships that we cherish are broken through betrayal, the pain is soul-crushing and long-lasting. Some of us try mightily to repair those relationships. Others of us – perhaps older and more grizzled in these matters – think that repairing those relationships are so difficult as not even worth trying. But all of us, to some extent, are tempted to inflict an equal – oh no, a greater – amount of pain to our betrayers (whom we once loved), thinking that just retribution will somehow lessen our pain. Has that ever worked for you? After a momentary feeling of satisfaction, does the pain go away because of the retribution?
And that’s why this passage is so amazingly wonderful. We hurt and betray God by denying His sovereignty through our insistence that we know good and evil better than God. But God sought to repair this broken relationship rather than letting us go. And even more wonderfully, He absorbed in Himself 100% of the pain that we inflicted upon Him rather than giving us what we justly deserve. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Even more wondrously, not only did Christ not punish us for our sin, but He also clothed us in his righteousness! Wow! If it wasn’t enough that He removed our sins as far as the east is from the west, Christ then imputed his accomplishments and the Father’s adoration to us.
This is grace. That’s why we praise.
There is an important lesson for us as well. We should remember that it’s not about how much we love Jesus, but how much He loved us that should drive us towards glorifying Him and that we glorify him when we seek to reconcile with others that have wronged us.
Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.