In this month of April, we joyously celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. "Rejoice," this is the good news that all souls long to hear. The "certificate of debt" against us because of our sins, our wrongdoings, our crimes against one another and against God, can be completely forgiven because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Colossians 2:20-23 says,
"If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world's crude and elemental notions and teaching of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations? —such as]
Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],
Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines.
Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [ that popularity passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they did not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.]
We need no longer be debtors, but free men and free women, who have chosen to give our lives to serve the one Redeemer who has emancipated us, delivered us to live holy. Jesus alone poured out His life unto death for our sakes. It is beyond man's ability to comprehend the enormity of the sacrifice He made for you and me as expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
"For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him by his goodness]. "
The Holy Lamb of God, the spotless Lamb, became sin, so that we could become the "righteousness of God." In other words, the Blood of the Lamb so thoroughly cleanses us of our sins, that we will be made acceptable in God's eyes, that we can once more enjoy right relationship with the Father because of His matchless love. The Divine Exchange is simply this, that we surrendered our unrighteousness for the robes of righteousness given us by our Savior, our Lord, our King. The sinless life of Jesus given in exchange for our own. The cosmic debt was settled.
And what will we do when we are free? Paul admonishes us in Romans 12:1-3:
"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by Its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
For by the grace unmerited favor of God) given to me I warm everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him."
We present our bodies living sacrifices, vessels of His righteousness to honor the sacrifice of our Lord and King, for we are His "masterpieces."
"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestine (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live." Ephesians 2:10
Father, as we seek and yield to you in this holy season in which we celebrate the Resurrection of Your Son Jesus, we claim all souls for you through Christ. We invade darkness to be exposed that your righteousness will be implemented. Thank you for Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. It is our fervent prayer that all will come into the knowledge of Your Son as their Lord and Savior, in Jesus' holy name. Amen.
Amazed by His Grace,