2 Corinthians 5:16-21
The theology of atonement or “Just as I am without one plea but that thy blood was shed for me” simply stated is we are guilty but Jesus is punished. He is the Lamb of God without blemish that takes away the sin of the world. His is the sacred head now wounded whose grief and bitter passion are for our gain. Jesus takes our place and in dying suffers the consequence of sin. All that is true but in some ways it doesn’t fully balance the equation. Sin is not so much forgiven as paid for and something paid for, even if we don’t write the check is not free. The books are balanced, the accounts settled because innocent Jesus pays for guilty you and me. But what if in the making him who knew no sin to BE sin Jesus deserves to die because he really is guilty? In being made to be sin he becomes lust and greed and pride. He embodies every act of murder and rape and abuse. He is forsaken because he deserves to be forsaken and hell is not enough of a punishment for the crimes Christ commits. The dying and the descent are deserved but God forgives and sets Jesus free from suffering eternal forsakenness. In the person of Christ who is sin all the sin of all the world of every time and space is forgiven all at once so that God can be reconciled with a world that given a choice would rather not be. The good news is that we are new creations because the one who was made to be sin was forgiven; therefore God’s being reconciled to us does not depend on our being reconciled to God. But what follows good news is always about us and the choice is simple. Will you live what is true about you or continue to live what was?