God made him who had no sin to be sin for us. So that in him we might be the righteousness of God. - 2 Corinthians 5:21
What is the greatest gift you have ever received? Can you remember the anticipation? Can you remember opening the gift and the joy it brought you? Maybe a Christmas from your childhood comes to mind, or your birthday perhaps? Do you still own that gift? My guess is, like most gifts we receive, it lost its value over time or as we got older we no longer needed that gift.
WHAT MAKES A TRULY GREAT GIFT?
We've all seen the famous credit card commercial that places prices on various objects, but then ends with something that is priceless. Usually those priceless gifts are those that transcend time and place, that bring us joy in every moment of our lives. Maybe having children, finding a loving spouse or developing lasting friendships fall in the category of a truly useful gift.
If the previously mentioned gifts bring us joy, how much more joy should the gift of Christ’s forgiveness bring us? Talk about a gift! Who gives a gift to someone who hates them in return? Who gives a gift to someone who is forgetful, prideful and will let you down again in the future? Moreover, who gives this person a gift that actually requires pain and suffering?
THE GREATEST GIFT IS GOD HIMSELF.
Think about what 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: He who had no sin became sin for us. Wow! Jesus took our sins, the ones we have already committed and all our future sins and bore the weight of that upon Himself. He didn't have to, but He wanted to give us a gift we couldn't earn on our own: forgiveness and eternal life. It is through this gift that we can live, and I mean live! Read the Old Testament and you see God deals very directly with people and their sin. He says for the wages of sin is death, and he meant it! So it is through Christ bearing our sins that we can say we are alive, both here on earth and in eternity with Him.
SO HOW DO WE HONOR THAT GIFT?
Imagine that gift from earlier that you loved, and you simply read the card and said a simple thanks if you were up to it. How much more recognition does Christ deserve than that? Christ deserves our life, which is the only adequate response. We've become the righteousness of God as the second half of the verse states. We live lives that honor Christ, we obey his commands and continually thank him. We devote ourselves to the service of Christ.
His is the gift that transcends time and place, the gift that is with us now to our deathbeds. May we be truly thankful for that gift and praise Him alone!