March 30, 2018
“He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
My kids collect different things and often trade with each other and other kids. At one point they were trading with each other and I realized that the older kids, who had power over the little kids, were taking advantage. I thought that they would trade fairly, but instead they used their age and power to give bad cards in exchange for good cards. In a free trade system the weaker person is going to always be at a disadvantage when negotiating. I thought it was a good life lesson until there was a trade with one of the neighbor kids that didn’t seem right, an older kid had clearly taken advantage of a younger one. And I made them give the stuff back to each other.
The centerpiece of the Gospel story is an unfair trade. One party receives rewards earned by the other and the other party receives punishment that the other deserved. In the Gospel story things are backward, the person with all the power chooses to use His power to give to others rather than take. Jesus has all the power in the world, he created it and shows many times that He can do whatever He wants. Yet, He chooses not to take advantage of His power, but to humble Himself.
Jesus was faithful to the plan to empower others. Instead of using His power solely to receive glory for Himself, He goes to the Cross to glorify His Father in heaven and accomplish the salvation of humankind. This righteous life and death bring great delight to the Father. In this trade, the sin of His people is placed on Him and He absorbs God’s wrath and dies in their place. Then in exchange for taking humanity’s sin, He gives them His righteousness (obedience to the Father) that they might walk in blessings that they haven’t earned.
I hope that this Good Friday we will remember the worst and best trade in human history and be thankful.
Pastor Mike Conan
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you! Thank you for humbling yourself and coming to the earth and dying for me. Thank you for using your power to help me, as I was powerless to earn God’s favor on my own. Help me to walk with God as someone who has been forgiven and set free.