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The Great Exchange

Remember how Cinderella’s fairy godmother exchanged her raggedy clothes for a beautiful ball gown? And a pumpkin became a coach? It all went away at the stroke of midnight because the exchanges were just temporary.

Let me remind you of the permanent exchanges that God offers. It’s not some fairy tale. It’s real. Now and forever. God is no make-believe fairy godmother or a genie in the sky. He is a loving Father who provides for the family who is united to Him through Jesus.

Jesus exchanged the glories of heaven, where He lived from eternity past, for life among the poor on earth.  “… you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich” (II Corinthians 8:9). So I get to go “from rags to riches.”

Jesus exchanged His purity for our sin. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21). He not only took away our sin, but He exchanged it for His perfect righteousness. Now that’s a radical exchange! Totally undeserved, but provided by His mercy and grace.

Jesus allowed the crucifixion to rob Him of life. But it was a necessary process in order to bear our sins as a perfect sacrifice. A resurrection could only be possible after a death. It was necessary to experience temporary death in order to provide permanent life. Jesus conquered death through resurrection so that we could experience that also. It seems over simplified to state that in one sentence, doesn’t it? We need to be careful that we don’t ever take it lightly or minimize this great exchange. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

There’s an old song that reminds me of an important exchange yet to come. “I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.” (That’s the closing phrase of “The Old Rugged Cross” by George Bennard.) Peter, who was an eye witness of the crucifixion, did not understand its significance until later. After the resurrection and the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart, he wrote these words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…” (I Peter 1:3-4).

Are these great exchanges real in your life? If so, how about thanking God right now?


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