July 10, 2022

He Took Our Place

Passage: 2 Corinthians 5:21

In Charles Dickens’s novel “ A Tale of Two Cities” Cities”, a young French aristocrat was condemned to die by the guillotine during the bloody French Revolution. He was sentenced to death for
the crimes his forefathers committed against the peasantry. The hour before his execution he received a visit from a young English friend who had a strong resemblance to him. After the guard had left, the friend overpowered the condemn ed man with a substance like chloroform and exchanged clothes with him. Then, pretending to be the one condemned to die, he called the guard and asked that his unconscious “ visitor”visitor”, supposedly overcome with grief, be
removed and returned to his home. Th e French aristocrat was therefore saved from death.
On his way to the guillotine, the young Englishman spoke these final words, “ It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done...” At the time he thought of his wicked life of lies, deception, s elfishness and pain he caused others. It was some kind of consolation for him to think that by dying for someone else, he would cover debts of his past. When Jesus gave His life at Golgotha, it was the opposite the Lamb of God without blemish was slain That’s what the apostle reminds us of in 2 Corinthians 5: 21 , God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
We want to consider two thoughts from this verse. The first is
that GOD THE FATHER MADE JESUS TO BE SIN. Paul wrote God made Him Who had no sin to be sin for us...” We read in our text that God the Father imposed guilt on His Son for the sins of the world. He put blame on Jesus for something He wasn’t responsible for! Many Theologians struggle with the concept of God bringing such an injustice upon His Son something that was so far apart from God’s nature. How could it be that God would have gone with something that was a lie?
His Son wasn’t guilty. And by imposing sin on Him, He did what sometimes happens in a court of law where by mistake or corruption someone is sentenced unjustly. One would like to add, “ With people doing it, the human error would occur from time to time, but with God there wasn’t an excuse.” We have to be very clear my friends God didn’t go with a lie; He didn’t do something false. It wasn’t an injustice of Him by pointing to His Son when the sins of the
world had to be reckoned for. No, He sent His Son into the world to take the full load of sin; He sent Him as the Lamb without blemish to be slaughtered for all the sins of the past, the present and the future. It had to be a perfect atonement. There was only one Who could
carry the full wrath of God His only Son. In Amsterdam a new church building was erected and the roof was a dome made from copper. The contractor missed a very important stipulation the architect made. Since copper is a material that draws lightning to it, a lighting
detector needed to be installed the moment the roof went up. A f ew days before the inauguration of the new church, carpenters were busy to install the pews and then it happened. There was a thunderstorm with lightning and one of the bolts came down from the dome and nearly hit some of the carpenters. They were brough t to safety and when the storm cleared a contractor was brought in to install a detector. Since its installation there was no danger anymore for those who gathered in the church. Let’s think about the reality
Jesus Christ became our lighting detector. He came to keep the lightning of God’s wrath away from us. But more than that there was no detector that protected Him from His Father’s wrath. No, He took it all upon Himself. Isaiah 53: 4 and 5 remind us of the fact that
God the Father let it all come down on Him Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the
punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”
Why did God The Father do that?
TO MAKE US RIGHTEOUSS The last part of verse 21 reads,
reads, ““...so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” ...so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” The great English The great English preacher,  Charles Spurgeon contemplated on this particular truth of God making   us His righteousness and it was difficult for him to grasp, because to the Romans St. Paul wrote,
There is no one righteous, not even one.” Spurgeon then thought of a box covered with a layer of gold on the out side it was beautiful, but on the inside it was hollow and empty. It could never be reckoned as a precious piece made of gold. In the same way only the outside
appearance of man’s life would never satisfy God. There had to be a makeover and that happened in Jesus Christ, when we became the workmanship of God. Do you realize how God the Father looks at us now? He places the cross of His Son in front of each one of us
and now He sees no imperfection. Can we ever comprehend this concept? The righteousness of God implies a whole new creation body, soul and mind. That’s how God sees us. We still see the flaws and sins in our personal lives and those we have to confess to
God through prayer. But to Him we are the new creation. Verse 17 says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” What do you and I have to offer to God in return for salvation we so freely received? What do we have to offer for the new people we became? He doesn’t want our silver or gold; He doesn’t want burnt offerings and sin offerings like His people in the Old Testament brought before Him. No, our God wants our hearts. Why don’t we just bow down before Him in humble
adoration for the Gift of His Son Who took our place on the cross? The table of the Lord reminds us when we take the elements. When we taste the elements we remember the body and blood of our Lord...and then we are filled with gratitude. Then we remember what we read in this passage in verse 15 , “And He died f or all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”

Rev. Willem