27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. ”
– Genesis 1:27-28
In the beginning God’s perfect plan was to bless His people. Before sin. Before the Fall. Before the need to apologize was a God who blessed. This blessing spirit is even more powerful when you consider that this blessing was given to man before they did one thing, good or bad. Having done nothing man was simply blessed for being God’s child.
Fast forward to today and obviously we’re on the other side of the sin equation. Our lives are indeed marred by sin and it’s consequence but there is available to us a redemption and a reconciliation through God Himself, Jesus Christ.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
– 2 Corinthians 5:21
In most churches, and with most Christians, I get the sense that the first part of Paul’s charge in 2 Corinthians 21 gets no dispute. God made Christ become sin for us. We accept that whole-heartedly. No dispute, no argument here: God made Christ to be our propitiation. What I do find however is that we are not often ready or willing to pick up the second half of that verse. Why did this act take place? Why did God the Father see fit to saddle Christ not only outwardly with our sin but to actually see Christ as BECOMING sin? Whenever you see a “so that” in scripture you should get out your highlighter… “so that” we might become the righteousness of God.
I believe if Christian men and women would see themselves as God sees them, so much sin and strife would simply no longer appear in their lives. Why? Because we live up to our expectations of ourselves. If you see yourself (after salvation) as nothing but a worthless sinner, you will continue to repent for being such a worthless sinner. If, however, you see yourself as the righteousness of God, you will spend far more time living up to carrying yourself in such a way as to be worthy of that name.
Yes, you and I are sinners saved from ourselves and sin’s consequence only by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.
We too however are also the righteousness of God for our generation.
We are not worthy but we are worth it because our value was determined at the cross. This paradox is what gives the follower of Jesus the simultaneous power and humility that comes with knowing Christ as Lord. We are broken people made righteous by the act of their savior. We are spiritually dead given life so that we may give life.