Friday, April 5, 2013
Reconciliation in Christ
2Cor. 5:16 ¶ From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.
2Cor. 5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
2Cor. 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Cor. 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
2Cor. 5:20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2Cor. 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Everything has changed for those who have been united with Christ. Every perspective of life is now seen from Christ's perspective. Our view of the world is different, but so is our view of Christ. It is now an insiders view, one with much greater understanding because all the old of the world is gone. The world no longer holds meaning for us and everything is new and therefore different. Why? Because we have been reconciled through Christ. There has been a reconciling, or restoration of relationships because we can now be in Christ. It means that our human relationship with God is restored to God's original plan through Christ and as a result, we are sent out as his ambassadors to have a ministry of reconciliation with others.
It's amazing how the message from God seems to consistently boil down to loving God and loving neighbor. Because of Christ our relationship to God is reconciled. All of the barriers which were created as a result of sin have been torn down. There is no need for an intermediary, or a priest to continually prepare sacrifices for us. Instead, Jesus has taken care of it all. And now we are reconciled to God as we are invited to participate in Christ.
But this reconciliation moves beyond our personal relationship to God. Because we are in Christ we are supposed to be reconciling relationships all around us. This is probably harder for most of us than being reconciled to God. Too often in life there are those who have hurt us and to allow reconciliation may be seen as far too painful. But is this seeing it from the old perspective? There is something powerful about this new perspective, of being able to be reconciled because we are in Christ. Paul said that since we are in Christ the human point of view goes away. It is because we are in Christ that reconciliation with those who have done awful things to us can occur.
Sadly one of the worst evils we face this day in regard to broken relationships is abuse and molestation. It's one of those things that nobody wants to talk about and yet it is very real and the Church is not immune from the damaging effects of this type of behavior. In the midst of the Church we find terribly wounded individuals trying to find some kind of peace of mind for all that they have experienced. The need for ambassadors to be engaged in a ministry of reconciliation is huge -- right in our own back yards.
Of course there are many other reasons as well as to why there are walking wounded among us and God's children, those who are in Christ and have been reconciled to him, we must ask him to open our eyes and help us to see things from his point of view so that we can be his ambassadors in this hurt and broken world. We have the joy of being reconciled in Christ, but with that joy comes the responsibility of the ministry of reconciliation -- reaching out to the world around us with a wholehearted desire to bring them into this reconciliation. When one is in Christ, we become passionate, desiring to bring this same type of reconciliation into the lives of others.
Lord, thank you for reconciliation in Christ. Amen.