One of the most quoted verses about salvation is 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away, behold new things have come” (NASB) … When we come to Christ, when we are IN Christ, we don’t “turn over a new leaf”. Jesus doesn’t reform us, rework us? No, we become a NEW Creation. YAY! I like New Things. But what does that mean? How could that even BE?
How can I become new and what is that anyway?
A few verses down, verse 21, clues us in to such a beautiful truth. “He made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”
God made Him, Jesus, who knew no, or had no sin to become sin FOR us, SO THAT … we in him might become the Righteousness of God
Think with me for a minute. Jesus Christ was eternally perfect, eternally in perfection and holiness. Eternally he was pure and worshiped in the splendor of holiness, never knowing the dirtiness of sin. He then was thrust into the dirtiness of our sinful world. Have you ever come into a really dirty place, I mean where you didn’t even want to touch anything? You ever gotten that feeling, where you just about freaked out at the dirt? How about Jesus Christ, from the Holiness of Heaven to the sinfulness of earth?
Jesus Christ knew no sin, and he came to us and became sin FOR us. He came into our sin soaked world, wow what a creepy crawly, holy germophobic experience that must have been. Yet he was still sinless walking purely in an impure world.
Then, on the cross, he became our atoning sacrifice, our propitiation. At that moment there on the cross, God turned his back, the sun stopped shining, the earth shook, Jesus Cried Out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” As God forsook Christ he was reaching out to us. Why? “SO THAT” … God always has a purpose. “So That” WE … who knew no righteousness, WE who only knew self-righteousness, we who have righteousness that is like filthy rags … We knew we were in a mess, and we try to clean it up, but have you tried to clean something with a stained or oily rag? Won’t work. So we who knew nothing but a swirly sin stained mess … needed something.
And so WE, though we knew no righteousness, … find that in the combination of the moment that he became sin for us and the moment that we receive it as our atoning sacrifice, we became something NEW, RIGHTEOUS. And not just any righteousness. Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross to make me the best version of myself. No, In Christ, we become The Righteousness of God!
I can’t even wrap my feeble mind around that blessed truth. But IN Christ, I become like Christ, that I might, as 2 Peter 1:3-4 says we can participate in the divine nature.
Oh Blessed Grace … The Righteousness of God IN ME as I am IN Christ, and so, I am a NEW Thing, the past is gone, everything New. Christ in me, the Hope of Glory! Hallelujah!