Scripture: 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
6 As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.”Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. 3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry.
4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. [2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 NLT] In this passage, Paul is writing to remind the church at Corinth about their role as ambassadors of Christ. He urges them to be reconciled to God in relationship by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is because of Christ that we even had the ability to be made right. Paul reminds them that He who never sinned was made to be the offering for our sin. In other words, Jesus took our place so that we could be made right. There are a lot of theories about what happened on the cross. The theological term is the atonement. One theory is that Christ took on our sentence of death as in a court of law. We were found guilty of death because of our sin and Jesus took our place. Another theory is that Christ’s sacrifice is an example to all of us of love in action on our behalf. Another theory is that Jesus is the ransom that buys back sinners and gains victory over evil. One last theory is that Christ’s death on the cross satisfied the honor due God that has been robbed by human sin. None of these theories is adequate to explain how Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection made us right with God. The fact is we have been made right when we place our trust in God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. As we make our way through Lent this year it is important to remember we have been made right. Yet, this is a continuing process. We have been justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, this is only the beginning of our being made holy. In essence we are made right every day of our life as we follow Jesus. When we seek to love God and love neighbor we are made right. We are being sanctified, or made holy, each step along our faith journey. Paul reminds us of this and of the fact that we do this as ambassadors of Christ in our family, our church, and our community. Today do not let this ambassadorship go for nothing. Make the most of it. Love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Look for one opportunity today to express the love of Christ to someone in your family, your workplace, your neighborhood, or any place you are able. Write a note to brighten someone’s day or make a phone call of encouragement. Be the ambassador of Christ that God has called you to be, today. Prayer: Holy God, the one who made Christ to die for me. Holy, God the one who raised Christ from the dead for me. Holy God, empower me to live as someone who has been made right. Show me how to love you with all that I am and love my neighbor with all that I have. Help me to do this today through the power of your Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus. Amen.