At the heart of the Easter faith there is this stupendous truth, expressed in (21), which has been called ‘the great exchange.’ All our sin was laid on Jesus, and we are given His righteousness when we respond positively to the gospel call to”Be reconciled to God.” (20). Someone said that at the cross it was as if Jesus became the world’s greatest sinner. When a person chooses to be reconciled to God, He sees them as being as sinless as Jesus from that moment on. Their sins are no longer counted against them (19).It’s a totally unfair exchange, but it is one Christ is totally willing to make out of His compelling love for us (14). ”God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” The Message.
Once you become a Christian you realise that your life is no longer your own. You’ve been bought with a price (15). You don’t just get a new start in life, but a new life to start with (17). Conversion is not about turning over a new leaf but receiving a new life.So as a brand new person you are equipped to live in a radically different way to the glory of God.
Part of this living for Jesus is a recognition that you are His ‘ambassador’ (20), through whom God will speak to the world about the ”reconciliation” He has already brought about in Christ (18, 19). What has been achieved must now be announced. God has given to the church ”the ministry of reconcilation” (18) and ‘‘has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (19). An ambassador is the highest representative of one country in the heart of another. We are citizens of heaven (Phil.3: 20) but we represent our ‘Government’ and King here on earth. We are authorised to be here and speak for Him, although our ambassadorial message will not always be well received (Eph.6: 20).
So, as ambassadors we will speak. That is a non-negotiable part of our role. We will speak with a conviction that Christ died for all (14). We will recognise that the church therefore has a responsibility to go to all with this message. ”God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.” The Message.
But our lives will also speak (11, 12). There will be no credibility gap between our talk and our walk. We will seek to live in a way that embodies our verbal message. As ambassadors we will experience criticism (13). There will be those who dismiss us as ‘fruit cakes’ and say all manner of bad things about us in order to discredit the message they obviously fear. We are to expect such treatment. If it doesn’t come our way, or not much of it, we must realise that this is an abnormal situation. We can also add that love (indeed Christ’s own love: 14) will be our ‘motive power’. This is what will cause us to get ‘steam up’ and move steadily forward.
Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus for the fire of your love burning in my ‘boiler’. Cause that fire to blaze ever more furiously.