2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV84)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Whenever a professional sports team trades a player, fans like to discuss whether or not the trade was fair. Sportswriters often weigh in with a “trade grade” for each team involved. They debate which team “won” the trade. Who got the better end of the deal? Who came out worse? Professional sports leagues often put stipulations into place – like players’ salaries matching – to help make sure that trades are not lopsided, but balanced for each team. No matter what the context, when it comes to trading, we want the trade to be fair. In general, we like our exchanges to be equal. In God’s Word for today, the Apostle Paul describes a trade that is far from fair. It’s an exchange that is anything but equal. But for you and me, it’s the best trade there could ever be.
You and I know sin. We know it because we have experienced in our thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes. Those things we do that we never should…those things we don’t do that we always should…they make us feel the burden of guilt. Guilt is the realization that I have failed to hit God’s mark and there’s a price to pay for my failure. Somebody has to pay and that somebody should be me. And the price that I owe can never be paid, except by an eternity separated from God and everything good in hell.
But then God proposed a trade. It’s the kind of trade no owner or general manager of any professional sports franchise would ever even think about making. God offered the absolute best player on his team – one who was flawless in every respect – for a bunch of scrubs, for people who have no trade value whatsoever. To be precise, he traded the righteousness of his one and only Son for each and every one of our sins. Jesus Christ never knew sin from experience like you and I do. Yet, God treated him like he was the greatest sinner in the world like every sin belonged to him. That’s because he put our sins on Jesus at the cross and, in exchange, God gave us Jesus’ perfect righteousness. That means since he treated Jesus according to our sins, he now treats us according to Christ’s righteousness. He calls us perfect.
My friends, that’s not fair. Thank God! You and I get to trade everything that is bad about us for everything that is perfect about Jesus – our worst for his best. There is no other trade like that in the world. Through it, our Savior fixes our failures forever. He makes us winners for all eternity. A great exchange, indeed.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, may I always marvel at the great exchange you have made for me.