“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21).
Because I am a sinner and incapable of becoming perfect in order to go to Heaven, God sent His perfect Son to become sin for me; He came to pay the price I could not pay. This is the incredible story of the One we call, Emmanuel (God with us)! He left the place we desire to see, so that we, who would never have a chance to see it, could be welcomed in clothed in His righteousness. I was talking with a friend yesterday about an interesting topic. He had been asked, “If God is a loving God, why does He allow men/women to go to Hell?” He shared an illustration that he uses when answering that question.
Here is his illustration: Picture a situation where you had a friend that was a judge. Imagine also that you had committed the crime of murder and were brought before him. His love for you would not overwhelm the justice that your crime had committed. He, by the law, must give you the punishment of your crime. I then added a little to his very clear illustration. I said that this is an accurate picture of what happened until the sentence was read for the guilty criminal. At that point, the Judge’s Son stood and offered to receive the penalty for your sin. The Judge then allowed His own Son to bear the penalty for your sin, and set you free!
Our righteous God must punish sin … but He has gone to incredible lengths to make a way of escape for every one of us! Jesus, Who knew no sin – He was perfection in a human body … the only One in the history of the world. Jesus who had never sinned, became sin for us … He accepted every sin you and I have ever committed there on the cross. He literally took the piles of our sins and took them on Himself there on the cross. He did that so that we who were without hope could find our hope in Him. He did that so that we who were filled with our unrighteousness’s could put on righteousness … could put on perfection!
There are two key words that end this verse that you must have to enjoy this heavenly exchange … “in Him.” None of this is possible without Jesus. None of this can be attained through going to a church. None of this is possible through baptism, or communion, or doing more good than bad. It all comes, “in Him.” Without Him, there is no righteousness for us. Without Him there is no hope for Heaven. Without Him there is no Christmas! Praise God … with Him … there is! Merry Christmas!