by Jeff A. Jenkins
“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, NASB).
In 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, the great apostle Paul discusses the principle of reconciliation. He begins with the phrase, “all these things are of God,” (v. 18), reminding us that everything associated with salvation begins with God.
It was God’s idea to offer us salvation. He initiated it, he planned it and he carried it out on the cross. Paul then explains that this occurs through our justification (v. 19). Justification is a legal term which declares that God has made us right.
In Romans 3, Paul proclaims that God is both just and the justifier of those who are in Christ. The next thought in this great passage makes it clear that there is something we must do if we are going to be reconciled to God.
Paul states, “I beg you, be reconciled to God.” (v. 20), God has done his part by extending his grace to everyone (Titus 2:10). Our part is to accept that grace and give our lives to him.
The most important verse in this section of Scripture and one of the most important verses in all of Scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:21. It is in this passage where “the great exchange,” is explained to us. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Even though Jesus never committed a single sin, God treated him like he was a sinner, so that he could treat those of us who sin often, like we are righteous. He poured out his wrath on his Son, so that we might become his children. Because of Christ, our sins are forgiven and we have a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Each time we gather around the Lord’s Table we should remember “the great exchange.” We should thank God for his grace which is available to all men and accessed by being in Christ (Romans 3:24).
by Jeff A. Jenkins