“17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 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 5:17-21
So that in him, might become the righteousness of God… this word righteousness bears so much weight and it is worth exploring what this “righteousness of God” means.
The dictionary definition of righteous is “(of a person or conduct) morally right or justifiable; virtuous.” Right off the bat we can already see issues. “Morally right or justifiable.” Whose decision is it to declare a person or action just? Is the action justified or unjustified depending on who is doing said action? Whose moral compass are we using to judge the morality of others? Our own?
The long and short of it is that as long as we continue to seek and strive for righteousness according to ourselves, we will never find it, we will never be satisfied, and we certainly will never be free.
Then Paul comes in with this statement: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Through Christ, you have been made righteous before God. Through Christ, this righteousness has been given to you. This is the freeing word that is found at the end of the Lenten season. Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, there lies the Cross of Christ. Instead of riches, we comes to a place where all of our sins, all of our attempts at our own righteousness, are laid. Instead of gold, we are given eternal life, salvation, and forgiveness in God’s name now and forever.
As we wrap up this season of lent, drawing ever nearer to the cross of Christ and the empty tomb of Easter morning, know that Christ has reconciled you to God. He has made the plea on your behalf. In His name, may you have new life each and everyday.
This is most certainly true.