“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV
Imagine yourself carrying around a backpack full of river rocks with each rock representing a specific sin in your life. Some of my rocks include pride, selfishness, lying, lust, idolatry, coveting, gluttony, stealing, not honoring my parents, gossiping, and bearing false witness against my neighbors – just to name a few. This backpack is very heavy and burdensome. I grow weary of carrying it around every day!
So imagine for a moment that Jesus walks into the room and as he motions towards the backpack, asks, “Do you want to continue to carry that bag of rocks/sin around?”
As I ponder his question, I realize I could respond in two ways. First, I could respond with, “I’m pretty comfortable carrying this backpack of rocks around, so I think I’ll just keep it and not let go.” Or, secondly, I could respond with, “It is quite heavy and I am very burdened by it, so it would be nice to get rid of it.”
So Jesus says, “Let me take that backpack and put it on the cross. I paid the price in full for these sins.” So Jesus takes the backpack off of my shoulders and places it on his own back.
Jesus then asks, “Would you like to wear my white robe of righteousness?”
I quickly respond with, “Yes!” And He then places this most beautiful, plush, head-to-toe, white robe around me and tells me that this is His robe of righteousness for me to keep.
In this exchange, what did Jesus do? And what did I do? The reality is that Jesus did it all! He took my sins (backpack of rocks) from me when I let go of the backpack. Then he offered to me and ultimately gave to me his gift of his robe of righteousness. All I did was allow him to put it around me.
As 2 Corinthians 5:21a states, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us.” Jesus took on all of our sins – past, present and future – when he died on the cross nearly 2000 years ago. He had lived a perfect, sin-free life and died an innocent man. In so doing, he sacrificed himself in order to pay our penalty of death for our sins.
Then Jesus gave us his righteousness. We did nothing to earn it. 2 Corinthians 5:21b states, “...so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus gives us his righteousness so that when our Heavenly Father looks upon us, He now sees His Son’s righteousness.
All I did in this exchange was to choose to let go of my sins and to receive Jesus’ righteousness. I did nothing else. Likewise, you can make that same choice for yourself and experience The Great Exchange! Jesus will do the rest!
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 NIV