TO CHEW ON: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20
A few weeks ago we commemorated Jesus' death. What is its significance to us living in 2015?
I don't know if there is a clearer explanation in the Bible of why Jesus died than what Paul gives us here (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). He uses the words reconciled and reconciliation several times which implies estrangement is involved. So we ask, who is estranged and how are they reconciled? A sidebar article in my Bible explains:
"Reconciliation is the process by which God and man are brought together again. This is made possible through the blood of Jesus .... We were once estranged from Him, but we have been brought to God and restored to relationship through the shed blood of Christ" - Raleigh Washington / Bill McCartney - "Jesus Our Foundation," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1616.
We take advantage of this act of reconciliation by agreeing with God that we are sinners and accepting Christ's death on our behalf. It's a personal decision each one of us must make for him- or herself.
Our scripture goes on to give us, who have been reconciled, a job. We are to spread this good news that God and people can be friends again. We are ambassadors of that message for Christ, tasked with imploring those around us to take advantage of this offer of reconciliation, which came at a hefty price: sinless Jesus became sin and paid the death penalty for that sin so we sinners can be the righteousness of God in Him.
My confession—I haven't been a very good ambassador. Partly it's because in my society there seems little sense of need or desire to be reconciled to God. With no feeling of alienation from God in people there is little receptivity to hearing that they can be reconciled to Him.
My prayer is that God would put me in touch with those people whose hearts He has and is preparing for this news. Further, I need greater sense of urgency to share this news, a heightened alertness to opportunities, and boldness to "implore" people to be reconciled to God.
What about you?
PRAYER: Dear God, please give me a sense of urgency and boldness to share the news that it's possible to be reconciled to You. At the same time, please prepare people in my neighbourhood, town, province, and country to hear it. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.