Day 19 - He Did It For Us
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
What good news we have -- that Christ lived for us! Jesus not only died the death we should have died, He also lived the life we should have lived. He is the perfect model for how we should think and behave. Praise God who desires for every aspect of our lives to be marked by the ministry of Jesus!
Ambassadors face unusual and sometimes impossible challenges. They have to engage with the culture of the society they reside in. But they have to do this while representing and conveying the purposes of the ones who sent them. In order to carry out their role well, they must know their masters intimately. Similarly, Christians live and work among non-believers. How can we be effective ambassadors of the gospel to those who do not know Christ? We can do so by remembering that Christ lived and died for our sake.
Matthew 5 reminds that Jesus Christ lived the law perfectly. He obeyed every bit of it for us precisely because we were not able to. 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that Jesus took our sin and rebellion upon himself at the cross, became sin, and transferred His righteousness to us. Jesus’ complete obedience to the Father and perfect fulfilment of the Old Testament law should give us great confidence because we have received Christ’s status in full. He did it all for us!
- Are you still trying to please God on your own? How does Jesus’ obedience set us free from that heavy burden?
- Are you joyfully pointing others to Jesus as His ambassador? What would like to live as Christ’s ambassadors in the world?
Heavenly Father, give us increased appetite for what pleases You, and growing distaste for that which displeases You. Jesus knew this perfectly and lived in perfect righteousness. Change our perspectives so that we are less superficial, and help us be honest with You about our daily struggles with sin. Soften our hearts to see that we need You. Remind us of the great exchange of Christ’s righteousness for our sin, and how this gives us a new identity. Remind us, even though we keep forgetting, that we have Your forgiveness and approval. This we pray in the name of Christ Your Son, Amen.
- Protection against being 21st century Pharisees who are hypocritical, judgmental and legalistic.
- GBC members to be effective ambassadors for Christ in the world.
- The worship ministry at GBC to be effective each week leading in worship and song.