Sometimes we bring home something that doesn’t work out as expected. Maybe it’s clothing that just didn’t fit right after all. Maybe it’s a new plumbing piece that wasn’t the right shape. Sometimes it’s food that had gone bad but we didn’t know til we got home.
Next comes bringing it back to the store. Usually we exchange it for a better fitting, right shape, unspoiled item – sometimes just get our money back. But the exchange is usually even.
The exchange Jesus made wasn’t exactly even. He gave up perfect eternity to step into time with all it’s restrictions. He gave up the presence of the Father to step into the presence of fallen man. He gave up perfection for a frail frame that has an expiration date.
What an unwavering love. You, me – what we deserved was to pay the price for our deeds. What we got was the perfection of God in the flesh. A selfless act of the Creator stepping into His creation to exchange what only He could give for all that needed to be forgiven.
This would be like me taking back a dress I wore, got stains all over, and tore the hem as I stepped into it. “I’m bringing back this messed up dress, I would like a brand new one in return and I would like this one that costs even more.” Hmm, don’t think the store would go for that.
Maybe I bring back a sack of grapes that I ate half of and let the other half sit in the hot sun. “These grapes are no good anymore, I need a sack of new ones in exchange for these.” Umm, no don’t think I would get that either.
But that is what our sin does to us. It stains us, it tears us, we become as rotting fruit. But a God of boundless love says ‘It’s a great exchange. I will give my perfect, sinless Son for you.’
The Great Exchange… When the Father looks at me now He does not see my shortcomings, my ugly times, my defiance. He sees the Son who cupped my chin and said ‘It is finished, I have done this for you because you are so valuable to me.’
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV)
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