Monday, April 6, 2009

Passion Thoughts

The week of Easter is always a crazy time in my life. There are always a million details to be finished before Sunday, a sense of urgency to make sure everything is just right, and a desire to take time to slow down and contemplate what this week is really all about. For pastors and church staff, Passion Week is not about spring break or slowing down. Yet somehow in the middle of all the chaos I am compelled to look into the deeper ramifications of the death and resurrection of Christ.

During Lent I very often read the daily devotionals by Walt Wangerin called “Reliving the Passion.” They are deeply personal and moving and tell the story of the week through the book of Mark. For years I have been compelled to reflect on the depth of insight and struggle of the final days of the life of Christ through the words of Wangerin.

Today as I was reading a thought hit me that I had never considered. While Jesus was on the cross he became my sin. He didn’t absorb my sin. He didn’t identify with my sin. He became my sin. “God made him to be sin who knew no sin…”(2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus became all of the mess and disgust that is the shame and the torment of my life. The perfect Son of God took on all of my pride, guilt and shame.

But that is not all. The next phrase of this verse, Paul writes, “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus substituted sin for righteousness in our lives. We literally get to have the righteousness of God because Jesus Christ fully took our sin. The cross became a spiritual bank where Jesus made the most personal and costly of transactions on our behalf.

Jesus, may I live in your righteousness this week. May I see your glory and forsake my sin which you bore on the cross. May my life be a light of your righteousness in all that I am and all that I do. Amen.

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