We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us: Be reconciled to God!
13 She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen [uncovered, painted] face she said, “Today I fulfilled my vows [probably at a pagan temple], and I have food from my fellowship offering at home. So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you!”
With the same enthusiasm that this woman looked for and appealed to this man, Jesus wants us to continue His mission, although we will do it with unveiled faces and with ourselves being the temple of God! As we finish our study on 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, verses 18-21 are about the ministry that God has given us,
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
- We are reconciled to God through Christ. God loves us so much that He came as Jesus to reconcile us back to Himself. We now can have sweet, intimate fellowship with Him. One of the best verses in the Bible is Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and he/she with me.” Dinner was a near-sacred time for Jewish folks. To eat with them was to temporarily become “one of the family.” Jesus wants us to become part of His family–He wants to adopt us!
- We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. In the same way that we were reconciled to God (we accepted His love and His kingdom into our hearts and lives), we are now to tell others what happened to us and how they can have it happen to them. That’s what sharing the Gospel is: Sharing good news with others.
- What is this good news? “that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins again them.” This is big, folks! It means that even the people who put Jesus on the cross were included in this reconciliation (not just the Roman soldiers, but the people in charge who ordered the execution). The kingdom–Jesus–is now available to anyone who receives it (Him).
- This message of reconciliation is what we are to take to the world. We are ambassadors for Christ. We are to implore people to receive the reconciliation that the Father offers through Jesus.
Verse 21 has a lot packed into it. Here it is:
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The first thing we need to know is that Jesus is our Representative. Just as Adam was our first representative, which is why we are all born with a sin nature, Jesus has become our second Representative, which is why we all can be reconciled to God through Him (C.S. Lewis refers to it as “the deeper magic).
The second thing we need to know is that all sin was laid on Him, and then He took it to the grave. Sin died with Jesus Christ. The good news is that Jesus rose up out of that grave, leaving death behind.
The third thing is that now we can become the righteousness of God. How? By having Christ in us. HE is our righteousness, and because He is in us, we become that righteousness, too.
Summary of the entire passage:
- We fear the Lord, but not as the world fears their leaders. We fear out of awe and respect.
- God is concerned about what is in the heart, so we must be, too.
- Christ died for all so that all who live should not live for themselves, but for Christ.
- We view everyone who doesn’t know Christ as prospective brothers and sisters.
- All who are in Christ are new creations; they are brand new!
- This great message has been given to us to share to others. We are His ambassadors.
- The message is: We have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. You can be, too!”
- God makes His appeal through us as extensions of Him on planet earth.
- God took our sin to the grave and left it there so that we could receive and become His righteousness.
May we recognize our new relationship with God the Father, our new position as Christ’s ambassadors, and our new Companion, the Holy Spirit.
Abba, may we recognize who we are in Christ (Your ambassadors) and get excited about sharing what You have done in our lives. We are new creations! We got that way by being reconciled to You. You live in our hearts. THAT’S GOOD NEWS! Thank You for being my Representative and for taking my sin to the grave. Now, I walk in Your righteousness even as You live in me and walk with me. Please give me opportunities to share this good news. Amen.