2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The mystery in these verses are beyond our comprehension. To grasp what they are leading us to understand we have to understand three things.
1. The height of the glory of Christ
2. The depth of the misery of our sin
3. The weight of being the righteousness of God
To say "He who knew NO sin" is not simply saying that Jesus was A good man. Like the kind of guy who helps old ladies across the road, or you could trust with your house keys when you go on holiday, or who runs the marathon to raise money for some good cause. No this is saying that Jesus is THE only and truly good man. He knew NO sin...
Else where in the NT Jesus is referred to as the Alpha and Omega. Which is Bible shorthand for saying something like this:
He is Boundless and the Beginning of all BeautyHe is the Creator of the CosmosHe is Delightful and Dignity itselfHe is the Eternal and Exciting EnigmaHe is a Faithful and Forgiving FriendHe is as Great as He is Good. He is absolutely Glorious because He alone is God!He is Holy, Holy, Holy and Honored by Angels above the Highest HeavensHe is Indescribable, Irresistible and InescapableTo have Him is to have complete Joy, and He will one day return to be the Judge of ultimate JusticeHe is all Knowing and the King of KingsHe is the Lion and the Lamb and is Love Who Loves beyond all measureHe is the Magnificent Majesty of MajestiesHe is Noble and Never, Never, NeglectfulHe is Omniscient, Omnipresent and Over allHe is the Prince of Peace who is to be PraisedHe Quakes mountains and is the Quieter of our SoulsHe is the Righteous and Radiant RulerHe is the Sinless Son and the Sovereign Sustainer of everything, everywhere...He is Triune and completely Trustworthy because He is TruthHe is Unimaginable, Unchanging and UnfathomableHe is of ultimate Value and is (and will be) the Valiant Victor over ALL His enemiesHe is of ultimate Worth, He alone is Worthy of all our Worship forever and ever!!
While my imagination runs out at W the glory and majesty of our God Jesus Christ will never run out! And in these few words we barely even begin to scratch the surface of how truly beautiful and good He is.
Yet He is the one God "made to be sin for us!" Again this isn't just talking about a few sins, it's talking about the entirety of all human evil and rebellion. If we were to try and capture the depth to which Jesus stooped for us, when He died on the cross, it might look something like this:
He died for all our Anger, Arrogance, Anorexia, Abortions and AnxietyAll the worlds Brokenness, Break-ups and Break-downs, Bitterness and BullyingTo take on Cancer, Corruption, Carelessness and CrueltyBecause of Deception, Disease, Disrespectfulness and DisgraceBecause of my Envy, Evil and Egotism
For all our Fighting, Fraud and FoolishnessFor the nations Greed, Gluttony and everything GrotesqueBecause of the churches Hatred, Hostility and HeresyTo take on the worlds Idolatry, Injustice and Infidelity
Because of unloving Jealousy, Judgmentalism and Jihad
Because of the Killing fields of history and London Knife crimeFor all Loneliness, Laziness, Lust and LawlessnessFor Malice, Materialism, Murder, Mayhem and all the Me firstNarcissism the world ever came up with!! For all our Neglect of this Needy worldFor every Oppressive system and for every Offense that Overflows out from usHe sees our hidden Pride and Pornography and the devastation of our PollutionFor all my/your Quiet sins, and for all our Questioning of His thoughtsHe sees every instance of Rage, Revenge, Rape, Rebellion and RuthlessnessFor Swearing, Slavery and Selfishness
For all our Thoughtlessness and all our Twisted ThoughtsFor all Usury, Ugliness and the Ungratefulness in all our heartsFor every single act of Violence and all the Vicious and VenomousWords that come from our mouths, For all Witchcraft and all devastating Wars of history
And again my mind fails me with the XYZ but the truth is human depravity doesn't end there does it. If our human brains can conjure any particular evil up, someone somewhere is doing it!
How can the good and glorious Jesus have anything todo with us in our wickedness? We often doubt that a good God could ever create a place like Hell, but as I ponder this list I wonder how God could be good without it. When we compare these lists we begin to glimpse how far Jesus was willing to go to save us.
But notice in the verse doesn't just say "Jesus became sin for us", it goes on to say that He did it so "that we could be THE righteousness of God!" What could that possibly mean. Not that we are forgiven and made righteous but that we are THE righteousness of God. Mind blowing...
Let me try on more list to try and capture the wonders that which Christ died for us to receive in Him:
In Christ we are Adopted, fully Accepted, and Adored by our Heavenly FatherIn Him we are completely Beloved, we Belong, are Beautiful, Brave and BoldWe are Cared for as His Children, we are Complete, Called, Connected and Crowned, with Delight and are DignifiedWe are Eternal, fully Embraced
And Fully Forgiven, Filled up, and Full of Him, we are Found, and Forever Faithful and Finally FixedIn Him we are Great and Glorious and are God'sWe are Holy, Honest, Hoped in, Hopeful and Happy!He makes us Irresistible...Finally we are Justified and actually Just,
We are fully Known as we fully Know Himand are Lovely because we are Loved, but not just Loved -but actually believe it or not- we are Liked!!We are Made MajesticAlways New, and Noble,
Open (meaning no more secrets)Made Perfect, Pure, a Pleasure to be aroundFully Qualified
Real, Righteous, Robust!
We find our Strength. And are His Sons (and Daughters), Saved forever, totally SecureTriumphant over the grave, and TrustworthyWe are UnitedAre Victorious, Vivid and ValidatedCompletely Whole, we have Won, are winners, always well, and always and forever Welcome with Him!
And that is just a glimpse of what the cross has done for us! OK, OK, we may not be there yet but we are on the way. And one day this we will remember this list and laugh at how pale it's realities were compared to the glorious truth we find ourselves in.
That is why Good Friday is Good!
Romans 8:18-21(NIV)I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.