Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, April 4, 2016
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
On may occasions over the years I have underscored the fact that God loves us so much that He personally handled the sin problem. Instead of staying way up in heaven and pulling puppet strings from that distance, He took the matter of salvation firmly in hand, to His glory and our eternal benefit. We have underscored the “God with us” principle where God (the Father) sent God (the Son) here to save His people from their sins. Jesus, who is the express Image and Person of the Father, represents the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Therefore, just as a ram was prepared on Mt. Moriah in Abraham’s day, to take the place of Isaac as a sacrifice, God provided Himself (as) a lamb to be sacrificed so we would not need to be.
Having heard all this and received enlightened understanding of its import through the Spirit, it would not be unusual for us to be shouting and leaping, and praising God for divine cooperation in sending God’s dear Son to deliver us from sin.
Yet, the blessing of cooperation of redemption goes even deeper than that, if you can believe it. Not only did God (the Father) send God (the Son) to represent heaven perfectly to defeat the devil through God (the Spirit), but the Bible says that God (the Father) was personally present in Jesus Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Sometimes people underestimate the Father’s love for us. Even though we are somewhat grateful that He sent His eternal Representative to defeat the enemy, we may underestimate His involvement in the process. I will not claim I understand the details of God’s involvement, nor will I blasphemously claim I understand what it means that He was personally present in Christ doing the work. However, I do understand that there is a contrast between standing aloof and being personally present and involved. I do understand that there is a difference between having to await reports from those one may send as a representatives to handle one’s affairs and being able to empathize due to your direct hands-on approach. Thus it is that the mystery of God (the Son) assuming human form is further elevated by God (the Father) being in Him cooperating to unshackle us from our bondage to sin. And this mysterious cooperation has been a blessing for millions of hurting, needy people for generations.
I am so thankful that God demonstrated the ultimate in teamwork so we could be delivered from sin. It’s no wonder, then, that God has given us the same ministry of cooperation. It’s no wonder that He despises discord and strife among us, especially among people who claim to believe in Him. He wants us to cooperate with Him so we can minister with others, to people bound by sins and weaknesses. If God can unify to help us, we must consider it a privilege to unify to help others. For God wants to be in you, dear friends, reconciling the world unto Himself much in the same He was in Christ doing the same.