Editor’s note: Easter will be here sooner than you think! Ash Wednesday falls on March 5 this year, and Easter comes six short weeks later, on April 20. How will you help everyone in your church prepare their hearts to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection victory? This year, CTA’s theme for Easter preparation is The Shepherd, the Lamb, it comes with tools designed to help you share the true meaning of Easter with everyone in your congregation. Those materials are similar in content, tone, and purpose to the devotion below which we developed for use in Lent a few years ago.
As you begin, read Ephesians 1:3-10, focusing especially on verse 4.
Have you ever had someone step up for you, speak up on your behalf? Has someone ever willingly paid the piper for your offense, taken the blame for your neglect or wrongdoing? That has never happened for me, though I can think of times I wish it had!
What Jesus did on the cross, though, is different. He not only took our punishment, he himself became the guilty one. He took us off the hook and put himself on the hook in our place. He officially assumed our blame. Now, before God himself, we are holy! How do we begin to wrap our minds around this?
The truth becomes even more sobering as we consider these words: “For [God] made [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Think of all the words, all the feelings you associate with sin—jealousy, anger, shame, guilt, fear, selfishness. All this, Jesus became for you: “The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
This showcases the power of the cross. And that power becomes even more evident when we consider the results:
- “That in [Christ] we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- “To be holy and blameless in [God’s] sight” (Ephesians 1:4).
The Holy One of God becomes sin. I walk away blameless! I know my past too well. It haunts me day and night. Blameless? It does not make sense. But how I want to believe it! Yes, Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!
Hard as it may be for you to imagine or comprehend, know that whatever sin troubles you at this moment, Jesus became your sin. Even that sin that haunts you, the one you have never been able to forget, is gone. In the power of the cross, you have received Jesus’ own righteousness, his blamelessness. And now you live to honor the One who died for you!
Prayer starter: Jesus, you became sin for me. Help me right now to give you the sin that haunts me so . . .
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2014 CTA, Inc. No duplication of this article is allowed without the express written consent of CTA, PO Box 1205, Fenton, MO 63026-1205. www.CTAinc.com.
If you would like to reprint this devotion and distribute it, complete and submit the form here.