The Great Easter Transfer

My March magazine article:

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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)

If you follow football, then you'll know that twice a year (pre-season and mid-season) the sports news is full of the transfer market. Which players are going to which clubs? Has your club got the new striker, goalkeeper or defender that they so desperately need? Who has spent good money and who has wasted it? As a Manchester United fan it's been a disappointing few years in the transfer market!

Well the Easter season which we are approaching is also full of news about a transfer. It's not the news of a transfer of a footballer, but of the transfer of sin.

Sin is the rebellion against God of which every human being is guilty. We reject God's rule and his ways for our life and decide to run things on our own without him. It's a disastrous thing to do, because it destroys our relationship not only with the ruler of all, but with the judge of all. One day our sin will catch up with us and God will, quite rightly, judge us and punish us for what we've done wrong. The rejection of the infinite God leads to his infinite rejection of us – hell.

But God loves us too much to leave it at that. So, the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to rescue us. How could that work? Well that's where the transfer comes in. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that Jesus, who never did anything wrong, took our sin and the consequent punishment for that sin on himself at the cross. Our sin is transferred to him. This is what is happening in the Good Friday story.

It's not just a one way transfer though. As our sin is transferred to Jesus, so the righteousness of God is transferred to us. We are given the perfection of Jesus.

The implications are massive. When we face judgement, our sin has been removed and we will be pronounced righteous because of this transfer. More than that, rebellion against God is replaced with reconciliation to God. We can be God's friends instead of his enemies.

In the preceding verse Paul writes:

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. (2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV)

This is more exciting than any football transfer – even for a Manchester United fan like me! So this Easter season, as you reflect on this transfer, let me ask you 3 questions:

  1. Have you been reconciled to God by trusting in Jesus' death on the cross for your sin? 
  2. Paul is writing to Christians in 2 Corinthians. Do you need to be reminded or recalled to reconciliation with God? Will you humble yourself and praise God for it this Easter? 
  3. Who do you know who needs to know this Easter message of transfer and reconciliation? Will you pray for them? Will you tell them? 
I hope you have a happy Easter.

Stephen

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