Deacon Anthony Cavaliere
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Here we find the theme we contemplate this Lenten Season: the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. It is Almighty God who reconciles us to Himself, from first to last, not we to Him. This is a concept that is quite foreign to all those religions which speak of acts and deeds humans must do to make themselves right with god, whatever form they may think he or it takes. Even in Judaism and Islam it is god who is appeased on the basis of human acts. But God is the one in Christ Jesus who acts to bring about reconciliation. How awesome is that?
Jesus became our sin-offering on the altar of God just as the Jews of old would offer a lamb in their place on the Temple altar. God placed all the sin of the whole world on Jesus. He experienced the punishment of sin for all humanity. He suffered the consequences of human sin so that we humans could participate in the benefit of His sinless perfection and obedience. God the Father identified His Son Jesus with humanity in our alienation, our sinfulness, and our lost state so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He takes our sin. We are given His righteous nature. We become new creations so that when God sees us, He sees us in Christ as perfect.
Almighty God, thank you for the blessings you have given us in Jesus. Help us to share this good news to everyone, to live out the mercy that has been granted us. Amen.