As I stand at the bathroom sink fixing my hair and makeup in the morning, my dog often torments me by curling up in the empty space I just left in my bed. I long to return to that spot—I’m not a morning person—and it makes me crazy to see him lay his little white head on my pillow and doze off.
Most days, I wish I could trade places with him. His life seems so easy: sleep, eat, repeat. But then I remember that he eats the same thing every day and has to go outside to use the bathroom, even in frigid temperatures and thunderstorms.
As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this week, let’s remember that He is the One who traded places with us. Our Savior saw our hopeless condition—we were sinners who could not save ourselves. He humbled Himself to take our place on the cross, so that we might have a place with Him forever.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Christ became sin for our sake. In this passage, Paul is talking about reconciliation—specifically, how sinners are reconciled to a holy God. Christ took the punishment for our sin so we could be reconciled to God. Paul says He “became sin,” receiving what our sin deserved.
Christ became sin even though He was sinless. If He had sinned even once, the punishment He received would be His own. Only a sinless Lamb could trade places with us and take our place on the cross.
Christ became sin so that in Him we might receive righteousness. My kids and I call it “The Great Swap.” On the cross, Christ took our place and received the punishment our sin deserved. In exchange, He gives us His perfect record of obedience–His righteousness. We receive what Christ has earned: right standing before a holy God and eternal life with Him.
No matter what you face this week, our sinless Savior became sin so sinners might receive His righteousness.
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