Sunday, December 13, 2015

Advent Day 13: Jesus Came to Reconcile Us to the Father

[18] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself 
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation
(2 Corinthians 5:18 ESV)

What's the difference between a reunion and a reconciliation?  I think we sometimes use these words in the same way, but the difference between them is really important.  A reunion happens when two or more people who haven't seen each other for a long time come together again.  They have been reunited.  Reconciliation, on the other hand, happens when two or more people who have intentionally distanced themselves because of a conflict come together again.  One requires finding someone and working out your schedules.  The other requires forgiveness and grace.

Many people believe they just need to be reunited with God; like two long lost friends that have just drifted apart over time.  They've done their own thing for a while.  They haven't talked to God for a while, but now they're ready to return to the loving and accepting arms of God.  That's a reunion.

The Bible, however, says we need more than a reunion with God.  We need to be reconciled to God.  Romans 5:10 says we were God's enemies in need of reconciliation, "For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son."  We weren't just strangers or former acquaintances that had not seen one another in a while.  We were God's enemies.  All of us.  Enemies don't need a reunion to come together, they need to be reconciled.

The only way for us to be reconciled to God was for the wrath of God that stood against us to be satisfied.  The full cup of the fury of God's wrath stood against us.  But, Jesus stood in our place and on the cross took the cup of wrath we deserved and drank it to the bottom.  Therefore, because God's wrath was no longer aimed at us, we could be reconciled to God the Father.  Our relationship could be restored.  That reconciliation could have only happened by Jesus taking on flesh and standing in our place. "All this from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18).

1 Cor. 5:18 says God took the initiative to bring us back to himself in the death of his Son; an astonishing act of grace from God the Father.  There's nothing we could have done to make things right with God.  He had to bring it to pass.  And in the person of Jesus Christ taking on flesh he brought it to pass.

Advent Day 1

Advent Day 2

Advent Day 3

Advent Day 4

Advent Day 5

Advent Day 6

Advent Day 7

Advent Day 8

Advent Day 9

Advent Day 10

Advent Day 11

Advent Day 12

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