THE GREAT EXCHANGE
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed for faith to faith. Romans 1:17a
When God’s holiness, his righteousness, is revealed, sin is exposed. A crisis becomes immediately evident. I realize that I can not stand before a righteous God. No matter how much good I’ve done, my sin can not be erased. I want peace with God, want to belong to Him, want to talk with Him as Adam and Eve did before the Fall, but sin keeps us separated. How do I become righteous so that God can be mine and I can live forever in His presence?
Only one way.
A great exchange needed to take place. Someone needed to pay for my sin. Someone righteous. A Savior who would invite me to place all my sin upon Him – marking Him for death. Having been emptied me of my sin, this Savior would give me His righteousness. He gets my sin. I get His holiness. Such an unfair exchange and I’m forever aware of my debt.
This is weighty doctrine. But best of all, it is a story that makes my heart leap for joy. No longer do I need to be separated from God. I am dressed in His Son’s righteous perfection for all eternity but only because Jesus was willing to exchange what He had for what I didn’t have.
Who dies for an enemy, pays for His worst sins, and offers the best of Himself? Only a Savior whose love is outrageous. The Gospel is such extravagant good news that every person who has experienced this great exchange struggles to find a language that tells the story adequately. The best I can do is say, “Jesus loves me and has changed my life forever.” Indeed! It’s that but so much more than that.
The love that prompted this exchange can not be grasped. The best poetry falls short so I tell the story with my life. I have a joy that can not be snuffed out by trials. I have a steely commitment to serve this Savior upon threat of death. I am the grateful recipient of a righteousness I did not have to earn, and could never have earned. The Lamb of God knew that and before the foundation of the world, saw me in my desperate sinful condition and made a way for me to come home. The Lamb would take my sin and dress me in the robes of His righteousness.
I often lose my words when something is too painful. I also lose words when I try to explain what Your love is like. Our great exchange changes me every day. Thank you! Amen